Livestock First Aid and Safety

Injured animals and animals under stress react differently than they do in normal circumstances. If you don’t work with livestock often, you may not completely understand how to keep yourself and animals safe in stressful situations, or how to provide first aid to injured animals.


The presenters focus on how to work safely around these animals and discuss basic first aid techniques to use with livestock and working animals. They also provide tips on livestock first aid kits.

The webinar presenters are Scott Cotton, University of Wyoming Area Educator and EDEN Chair-elect, and Dr. John Duncan, Area Veterinary Medical Officer, USDA APHIS. Cotton has been with Extension since 1993. His Extension focus has been on livestock and range production and now works in the broader areas of agriculture and rural living. Duncan had a mixed animal practice in Laramie, Wyoming and now serves the state as the USDA APHIS Area Veterinarian Medical Officer. 

Cotton knows about raising livestock – in addition to his work in Extension, he raises cattle and sheep and has on many occasions had to provide first aid to livestock. “A working farm or ranch has many hazards animals will encounter. Ranchers and farmers need to know how to administer first aid to animals that have small injuries and to provide stability to those animals that require more serious treatment. It will save lives and money,” says Cotton. Don’t rush in to help an animal in trouble, though. “Before you try to administer first aid, be sure that the source of the injury does not threaten you or the stock. Also remember that animals in pain lash out, panic, and are often confused.”

Andrea Higdon, the session moderator, is Emergency Management System Director for the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment at the University of Kentucky. “Scott Cotton has many years’ experience working with livestock in emergency or disaster situations. He helped form the Colorado Animal Emergency Taskforce and has served as an Agriculture/Animal Branch Director for Type 1 ICS teams in three states. Dr. Duncan has experience with several foreign diseases, as well as with livestock diseases such as tuberculosis, brucellosis, and scrapie. Both are well qualified to provide you with practical actions to protect your animals from further injuring themselves. We’re pleased to offer this webinar featuring Scott and John.”

If you want to learn more about first aid for livestock, you can watch this free webinar today

Interested in other information about livestock safety and first aid?

Horse Owner Survival Part Five: Emergency First Aid from

Putting Together a First Aid Kit for Horse from SDSU Extension

Large Animal First Aid—Dairy from Penn State

This webinar is brought to you by the Extension Disaster Education Network and its eXtension Community of Practice.