THEY deal with everything from horses stuck in cattle grids to cows in slurry and livestock transporters in accidents.

Now Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service has doubled its capacity with a second vehicle dedicated to animal rescue, in addition to the one it operates out of Lyndhurst Fire Station.

Bosses hope this vehicle, based at Basingstoke Fire Station, will increase the fire service’s ability to deal with large animal incidents in the north of the county.

The service says animal rescue is recognised as one of the most dangerous activities firefighters undertake, so specialised training is essential to equip crews with the knowledge and skills to deal with unpredictable situations. It deals with around one incident of a large trapped animal each week along with other regular incidents involving animals.

Jim Green, Hampshire’s animal rescue manager, said: “This new addition to our fleet will increase our ability to deal humanely and safely with animal incidents across Hampshire.”