UC Davis to push for advanced disaster preparedness for pets, livestock

The Center for Equine Health at UC Davis says there is “a critical lack of funding and standardization for the animal component of disaster planning”

The recent storms throughout California have stretched dams and levees to capacity and caused flooding throughout the state. This has led to declarations of emergency in 50 of California’s 58 counties, and brought to light a big problem that has been answered yet: When there’s a natural disaster, what happens to pets and livestock?

That’s a question UC Davis‘ Center for Equine Health (CEH) and International Animal Welfare Training Institute are pushing to answer. As UC Davis reports, “Pet and livestock safety has become a growing concern in the face of increased numbers of deadly wildfires and floods. Although disaster plans have been implemented for human and property safety, there is a critical lack of funding and standardization for the animal component of disaster planning.”

The CEH has brought on animal rescue specialist Jim Greene for a one-year collaboration on disaster preparedness. According to the university, “Green is the co-founder and director of the British Animal Rescue and Trauma Care Association and has developed mechanisms to train veterinarians and rescue personnel for everyday incidents and to share best practices in technical rescue.”

Green will coordinate with the university as well as local and state emergency responders to look into technical rescue procedures in the state. Green also wants to look into impact of large-scale disasters and community preparedness throughout the state.

Veterinarians and first-responders can learn more about information and sign up for updates by emailing CEHadmin@ucdavis.edu or by going to their Disaster Preparedness page.

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