Livestock transportation expert Jennifer Woods, J. Woods Livestock Services, Blackie, Alberta, says after a livestock hauling accident that emergency personnel, producers and veterinarians can use a simple color-coded system borrowed from human disasters to “triage” livestock.

Green means the animal is basically unharmed. Yellow are injured but mobile animals. Red are comatose or severely injured animals. Black are dead animals.

“Animals in the yellow group are the most dangerous to handle,” Woods notes. “If they are mobile, treat them or move them to a facility, move them to slaughter or humanely euthanize them where they are.” The red group, or comatose/severely injured animals, are not aware of their surroundings, Woods says. They can be humanely euthanized when the others are taken care of. Animals that are already deceased need to be moved out of the way of emergency personnel and other animals.

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