Trapped ‘‘horse’’ removed from ditch

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‘‘JUST chuck him in the ditch.’’
And so a 250kg horse man› nequin ended up ‘‘trapped’’ at the Riding for the Disabled facility in Otatara.
That was the easy part — then participants at a two›day large animal rescue workshop had to work out how to get it out again in a practical and humane way.
Hosted by the Southern Insti› tute of Technology (SIT), the workshop held earlier this week was the first of its type in South› land, with specialists advising 12 participants — three veterin› arians, a firefighter, an animal control officer, a SPCA inspectorand SIT students — on how to correctly and safely rescue a variety of large animals.
Practical sessions covered tech› niques for dealing with horses and cows.
Animal Rescue Specialist and Massey University veterinary emergency response team leader and lecturer Hayley Squance said it was important to use the right techniques so people and animals were safe and the animals were not further traumatised.
It was important people did not use the animals’ neck or legs to pull them out. Rather they needed to learn how to use strops rather than ropes to ensure the animal’s weight was evenly distributed.
‘‘We only use manpower, no machines, so we can feel how the animals respond.’’
The $14,000 realistic horse mannequin had recently been imported from the United King› dom by the university, she said.
‘‘It is as heavy as a horse and has movable joints.’’
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