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Helping hands, hurting hooves : towards a multidisciplinary paradigm of large animal rescue
journal contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Kirrilly ThompsonKirrilly Thompson, M Leighton, C Riley
Large Animal Rescue (LAR) entails the removal of a large animal from a place of danger to one of safety by the most humane method, with an overriding regard for the safety and welfare of responders as well as members of the public. However, there has been little consideration for the ways in which human and animal safety are mutually incorporated and the unique challenges posed by the human-animal bond with respect to LAR. Moving beyond the focus of previous authors on its technical aspects, this article reconciles the two perspectives with a multispecies, anthrozoological account of LAR. It provides examples from three previously undocumented rescues of horses trapped in mud, flood waters, and a gully to illustrate the ways in which the safety of humans and animals are mutually dependent. Above all, the case studies signal the need for a shift towards multidisciplinary approaches to LAR that engage emergency services, engineering, veterinary sciences and social sciences in collaborative knowledge sharing and creation.