Five fully stocked emergency trailers were launched from the Calnash Ag Event Centre Nov. 30.

Five fully stocked emergency trailers were launched from the Calnash Ag Event Centre Nov. 30.

Emergency livestock trailer fleet launched

Five more emergency trailers, equipped with tools meant to humanly handle livestock in crisis situations

Five more emergency trailers, equipped with tools meant to humanly handle livestock in crisis situations, have been released into the province.

The trailers launch event, held at the Calnash Ag Event Centre, Nov. 30, revealed Cypress County, the M.D. of Willow Creek, Westlock County, Vermillion River County and the Alberta SPCA received the trailers.

The emergency trailers are part of a collective initiative headed by Alberta Farm Animal Care (AFAC).

Project manager Lorna Baird said the project stemmed from discussions with the Alberta Farm Animal Health and Welfare Steering Committee, and its committee that comprises several AFAC members, the RCMP and Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.

“It’s a real proud moment for Alberta Farm Animal Care and our project team,” said Baird.

“The team was really inspired by the vision of Ponoka and Red Deer County groups that had already developed trailers like the ones we’re talking about today,” she added. “The project really wouldn’t have been as successful without the people of Red Deer County and Ponoka, who allowed us to learn from their experiences.”

Baird said throughout the development of the project there were three goals in mind. The first was to develop a network of trailers that would contain livestock handling equipment meant for emergencies such as natural disasters, barn roof collapses or trailer rollovers.

“The second goal was to create a sustainable training program to support the effective use of the trailers,” said Baird. The third goal was to actually purchase and equip the trailers.

The training program Baird mentioned is being developed in partnership with Lakeland College. The training will take place over two days—half theory and half practical.

According to Denis Cunninghame, associate dean of the college, first responders and other subject experts of the livestock industry will teach the course.

Once the program is fully developed this project will be nearing its end. However, “it’s not just the end of the story for AFAC and the trailers today,” said Baird.

In the future the trailers will be followed and monitored with reports.

Fire Chief Dennis Mann of Cypress County said with three major highways running through their area the county had been trying to acquire an emergency trailer since 2010.

“After responding to several livestock rollovers within our county it became apparent to us that we were lacking in two very distinct areas. One was the ability to humanely manage the traumatized livestock and the other was to ensure the safety of our first responders as well as the general public.”

For two years the county tried to acquire grant money for a trailer but were unsuccessful. However, this year they did manage to get the money to provide training for the first responders. Around the same time the county was approached by the Floyd Mullaney, a private contractor for AFAC about one of the five trailers.

Wetaskiwin MP Blaine Calkins also attended the trailers’ launch and he feels initiatives like this can be expected of Alberta’s livestock industry.

“It’s no doubt that animal welfare issues are a growing concern to the public,” he said. “So I applaud the proactive approach that the livestock industry has taken right here in Alberta to find innovative ways to manage the handling and transport of animals in emergency situations.”

“And from the federal perspective I’m also proud that our government has been able to support this worthwhile project through our joint investment with the project of over $323,000 under Growing Forward,” Calkins added. He believes the trailers are one of the measures working to keep Alberta’s livestock industry and economy strong.

Verlyn Olson, minister of agriculture and rural development, agreed with his colleague in the importance of livestock and the industry in Alberta. “I hope it goes without saying that for our department and our government, animal health and welfare is a top priority.”

According to Olson, agriculture is Alberta’s second biggest industry and he feels, with Alberta’s renowned oil and gas industry, that fact is sometimes overlooked. “But we know that agriculture is really the heart and soul of Alberta.

The province has approximately five million head of cattle, 1.5 million hogs and 500,000 horses sheep and other livestock. Olson said with numbers like that it’s obvious why initiatives such as the trailers are needed assets.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta had 1,571 active COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta’s central zone now has 1,101 active COVID-19 cases

Provincial death toll has risen by nine

(Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
FortisAlberta’s ‘Lights of Joy’ bring smiles to Ponoka seniors

Residents of Golden Leisure Lodge treated to a light display

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta reports 1,731 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday

The province’s central zone has 992 active cases

(Photo submitted)
Ermineskin citizen graduates vet school, is part of busy practice

Dr. Justin Hodgson is rolling up his sleeves in Meadow Lake, Sask.

Jeffery Kraft. Photo submitted
Family of Jeffery Kraft feels ‘robbed’ after one accused discharged

Family of victim responds to preliminary hearing in homicide case

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

In this undated photo issued by the University of Oxford, a volunteer is administered the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday Nov. 23, 2020, that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
Moderna chairman says Canada near head of line for 20 million vaccine doses

Trudeau created a firestorm when he said Canadians will have to wait a bit to get vaccinated

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre speaks during a news conference Monday, Nov. 16, 2020 in Ottawa. Poilievre says building up the Canadian economy post-pandemic can't be achieved without a massive overhaul of the tax system and regulatory regime. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Conservatives attack Trudeau’s ‘reset’ but they have ideas for their own

‘We don’t need subsidized corporate welfare schemes that rely on endless bailouts from the taxpayer’

There were 47 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta Tuesday. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
Spread of COVID-19 in Brampton, Ont., linked to systemic factors, experts say

‘We’re tired. We’re numb. We’re overworked. We’re frustrated, because it’s not our rules’

A couple embrace during a ceremony to mark the end of a makeshift memorial for victims of the Toronto van attack, at Yonge St. and Finch Ave. in Toronto on Sunday, June 3, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston
‘I’ve been spared a lot,’ van attack survivor says as she watches trial alone

Court has set up a private room for victims and families of those killed in the Toronto van attack

A person enters a building as snow falls in Ottawa, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. Ottawa has been successful in limiting the spread of COVID-19 during its second wave thanks to the city’s residents who have been wearing masks and staying home, said Ottawa’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
People to thank for Ottawa’s success with curbing COVID-19: health officer

The city’s chief medical officer said much of the credit goes to the people who live in Ottawa

Most Read