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September, 2014

The Texas Animal Health Commission's Horseback emergency response team

Bobby Crozier, Horseback Emergency Response Team Manager with Border Patrol Agent.
Bobby Crozier, Horseback Emergency Response Team Manager with Border Patrol Agent.
(click to enlarge)
Bobby Crozier, Horseback Emergency Response Team Manager with Border Patrol Agent.
Bobby Crozier, Horseback Emergency Response Team Manager with Border Patrol Agent.
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AUSTIN - The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) was honored with an Excellence in Emergency Management Award for the Horse Back Emergency Response Team at the 2014 Emergency Management Association of Texas Symposium, a few month back.

The purpose of the EMAT Annual Awards Program is to recognize the achievement and hard work of the individuals, organizations and jurisdictions that have made exceptional efforts to further the field of emergency management and to ensure a whole community approach to preventing, preparing for, mitigating against, responding to and recovering from disasters.

"There has been some research done on this. People's activities and movement are influenced by their animals, whether they are small companion animals or large animals, and they often end up putting themselves in danger. We recognized that we needed a way to help deal with such animal issues during an emergency, which would not only make animals a lot safer but ultimately their owners as well," said Dr. Dee Ellis, Texas State Veterinarian and Executive Director of the Texas Animal Health Commission.

USDA mounted patrol inspectors
(click to enlarge)
USDA mounted patrol inspectors
USDA Mounted Patrol Inspectors
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The Horseback Emergency Response Team is comprised of approximately 25 Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) livestock inspectors and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) mounted patrol inspectors. The team was created in 2012 with a primary duty to locate, contain, identify, and move abandoned, stray, or injured livestock in the aftermath of a disaster. Texans can be proud, it's the only team of its kind in Texas and in the United States.

"The development of a mounted response team is a testimony to the dedication of TAHC personnel. These employees are volunteering to put themselves and their horses in harm's way to help with emergency response operations," said Dr. Ellis. "In the future, with proper training, these responders could assist not only with animal disaster issues, but also participate in other response roles as requested, including providing horseback security services, or participating in search and rescue operations."

For more information about the TAHC visit www.tahc.state.tx.us or call 1-800-550-8242.



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