Jun 10, 2008
The WSPA DART team remains in Myanmar, delivering aid and working with the FAO and local people to improve the health of animals that survived Cyclone Nargis. The team provided us with an update today.
The WSPA vets have seen cases of pneumonia and diarrhea in draft animals, which could be a result of infectious diseases. There are also instances of Foot and Mouth (FMD) and sporadic cases of Anthrax.
To combat these problems, the team is working on assessment and interventions with the government livestock department, pairing our vets with theirs to provide extra expertise and kit for treating the animals. To date, WSPA has delivered US $10,000-worth of veterinary medicine to Myanmar.
Dr Ian Dacre, Disaster Management Director for WSPA Asia, commented on the animals’ health: “If you consider what these animals have gone through and the considerable stress that they are under they are more susceptible to disease. We will be looking to vaccinate. Following further samples we will see what the needs are for parasite control.”
To battle weakness and malnutrition, 4,600 animals have been fed so far using 120 metric tons of feed.
The DART team reported seeing primarily healthy dogs and cats that are well-loved by their owners; abandonment of companion animals is not a problem in the villages and townships they have visited so far. They have not observed feral dogs and rabies is not currently an issue.
The WSPA team will soon be joined by four vets from Humane Society International (HSI), who will work with us to bring immediate aid and to promote the long-term recovery of animals and the communities that rely on them.
Listen to reports from the field at the Myanmar audio diary >>