Animal relief reaches Cuba

Nov 7, 2008

A dog wanders in the rubble left by Hurricane Ike

A second shipment of veterinary supplies and drugs reached Cuba yesterday, met by one of WSPA’s experienced vets. Work can now begin to treat and protect the thousands of animals suffering in the wake of a disastrous hurricane season.

The first shipment of WSPA’s planned US$100,000 of aid arrived earlier in the week, sent from Canada to Jamaica for importing. A third delivery of desperately needed medicines and first aid supplies will depart from Costa Rica today.

The drugs and equipment will enable WSPA’s Disaster Management Veterinary Coordinator, Juan Carlos Murillo, to deploy 100 fully-kitted Cuban vets in a coordinated relief plan.

The teams will be aiming to treat to at least 42,000 companion and draft animals in three main areas: Pinar Del Rio, Isla De La Juventud, and Holguin.

Dogs, cats, oxen, buffalo, and horses all need anti-parasite treatments, first aid for cuts, grazes and other injuries, and nutritional supplements to prevent malnutrition and regain their strength.

In a country reliant on animals for transport and agriculture, the veterinary sprays used to treat foot rot will be vital.

Hurricanes Gustav, Fay, and Ike decimated buildings, farmland, infrastructure and veterinary services across the three target regions in late summer.

The extent of the damage may be what prompted the government to allow WSPA to mount the first ever disaster relief operation by an international animal welfare group within Cuba.

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