What to do with Livestock on the Loose at an Accident Scene

Livestock accidents are critical because when there are distressed, loose and injured animals, they are unpredictable and dangerous animals.  Imagine a cow causing chaos in heavy traffic or a goat running loose through your neighborhood.  These situations can be scary, but also confusing if you’re not sure what to do?

Dealing with a livestock transportation accident can be a volatile situation, but the goals are to reduce the danger, risk and confusion, and increase safety.  First and foremost, human safety, both of the driver and of the personnel responding is top priority.

If you find yourself on the scene of a livestock transportation accident, be sure to provide animals time to calm down before trying to handle or move them.  Keep the animals as a group so they may maintain visual eye contact with one another.  By leaving frightened animals alone, allowing them to calm down and have visual contact with other animals, they are less likely to run off.

It is also not safe to chase loose livestock with cars or motorcycles.  If you chase them they’ll run, and then they’ll have a chance of getting further into traffic or injuring people.  In the case of a flipped over trailer, you want to stand on the side of a trailer.  Most people make the mistake of standing at the exit and looking in, but it actually frightens the animals into staying inside the trailer.

Below are 5 important things you should know about livestock in case of an emergency:

(1)  Chasing after loose livestock, whether on foot or in your vehicle, makes them run away.  Never yell or honk your horn because this will only frighten the animals.

(2)  When animals are frightened and feel cornered, they are likely to fight.

(3)  Livestock’s natural instinct is to flee from predators.  Unfortunately, livestock view us as predators which are why they flee.

(4)  Livestock become extremely upset when removed from other animals.  This makes them very agitated and dangerous animals.

(5)  Livestock need around 20 to 30 minutes to calm down after being scared or excited.

An accident involving an animal on the road can have serious consequences.  Even the most experienced animal handlers can get injured or killed from trying to corral a distressed animal.  If you find yourself in a dangerous livestock accident situation, please keep safety your prerogative.