Animals vital to recovery of cyclone-shattered Bangladesh

Nov 20, 2007

Starving livestock, Bangladesh

As humanitarian agencies battle to help those affected by the devastation of cyclone Sidr the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) will assess its impact on the animals vital to their survival and recovery.

Early reports revealed that many people refused to leave their animals and take shelter during the storm such is their dependence on them for food and for their livelihoods.

“Animals are a life-source for the majority of those living in rural communities in Bangladesh,” said James Sawyer, WSPA’s Disaster Relief Operations Manager.

He added: “It is vital that we establish the impact of cyclone Sidr on these animals and decide what the Government and animal welfare organizations such as WSPA could recommend or contribute.

“Little is known at this stage about the number of animals lost or injured. Our assessments will take time but experience tells us that the impact is likely to be significant and therefore have a huge impact on the country’s ability to recover from this disaster in the longer-term.”

Following Bangladesh’s worst floods in living memory in August of this year, WSPA carried out an assessment before delivering veterinary treatment and emergency feed to 50,000 animals belonging to impoverished families. These animals accounted for 80% of families’ incomes, 20% being for household consumption.

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