To coincide with International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction, the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) wants animal owners to include horses and pets in their disaster management plans.
According to AVA’s National President, Dr Ben Gardiner, if disaster hits, people should be prepared not only for their own safety but for their animal’s welfare as well.
“Those of us who own animals have a legal responsibility to take care of them, and that doesn’t change in an emergency. Being prepared is the key – make sure your household emergency plan includes all your animals.
“Just as natural disasters can be extremely traumatic for people, the same can be true for our horses and pets.
“Preparing ahead of time and acting quickly can be the best way to keep yourself, your family and your animals out of harm’s way,” Dr Gardiner said.
Like other regions of the world, Australia routinely experiences a wide range of natural disasters each year including bushfires, cyclones, severe storms, heatwaves, earthquakes, landslides and floods.
“If you’re likely to be affected by a natural disaster bring pets inside and put together an emergency kit with lots of non-perishable food and water. You should be prepared for possible disruption to services, including power, water and telecommunication networks, for extended periods of time.
“If you need to evacuate, don’t leave it till the last minute, and find a suitable place to take your animals outside the danger zone such as higher land, friends or animal shelters,” he said.
Information and brochures about protecting pets, horses and livestock from natural disasters is available on the AVA’s website at: http://www.ava.com.au/public/animals-and-natural-disasters.
International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction, October 2013, is a United Nations event organised every year to raise awareness about what we can do to reduce our risk from disasters.
– Edited Press Release