From the field: updates on disaster management

Sep 30, 2008

Bihar Veterinary College's Dr Suman works with WSPA in the Birpur relief camp

Despite the cyclone season nearing its end, WSPA’s disaster assessment and response teams (DARTs) remain busy across Asia and the Caribbean.

WSPA brings desperately needed veterinary resources and expertise to disaster-hit communities, protecting the health of working and domestic animals and working alongside humanitarian organizations wherever possible.

Since January, WSPA has improved the welfare conditions of over 129,000 animals caught in disaster situations. You can help us do even more. Please donate to WSPA >>

Bihar, India

WSPA’s assessment team arrived in Bihar in early September to carry out emergency veterinary treatments and identify the key animal welfare needs after serious flooding hit the area.

A US$30,000, ten-day relief program is now underway. Two mobile teams – including vets from the Bombay SPCA, The Brooke (India), and Bihar Veterinary College – are delivering emergency feed and vaccinations to the region’s livestock, horses, and dogs.

Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, India

A WSPA DART is due to arrive in Orissa later this week to begin an assessment of animal welfare needs after the worst floods in 50 years displaced both people and animals. Having worked in the region last year, WSPA hopes to move forward quickly.


Surviving cattle in the Irrawaddy Delta, Myanmar

After an emergency post-cyclone intervention earlier this year, WSPA is back in Myanmar to lay the foundations for comprehensive risk reduction work.

One of our expert vets is currently in-country advising the Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department about ways to minimize the effects of future disasters on animals and communities.

This is phase one of an ongoing commitment to assist with risk reduction and protect Myanmar’s animals.

Terai, Nepal

Nepal’s Koshi River flooded in September, devastating fertile land and threatening food security across the country.

WSPA has provided local member society the Society for Animal Welfare and Management (SAWM) with nearly US$9,000 worth of feed and medical treatments for the region’s vital working animals.

An experienced vet from WSPA’s Asia office is currently in Nepal assisting and monitoring the intervention, and reports that 4,900 livestock have been fed and treated so far, saving local livelihoods.

North, East and Central Thailand

The severe flooding across large areas of Thailand will undoubtedly have an impact on animal welfare and, by extension, food security.

WSPA is in contact with local member societies and other groups to assess the animal welfare need and develop a response.

Turks and Caicos, Caribbean

A WSPA DART has already been on the ground in Grand Turk, one of the islands savaged by Hurricane Ike.

We found a government holding for donkeys and horses was badly damaged in the storm, leaving the animals roaming the island. WSPA is now working with local authorities to determine to best course of action.

Read more about WSPA’s disaster management and relief work >>

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A local woman uses WSPA emergency feed after flooding, Bangladesh