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Disaster management

Emergency livestock food and medicine is delivered after flooding, Bangladesh

Natural and man-made disasters wreak havoc on millions of people and their environment every year. Animals can be the forgotten victims.

Many of the world’s poorest communities are totally reliant on animals for food, transport and their livelihoods. Domestic animals provide valued companionship the world over.

Helping animals affected by disasters reduces their suffering and helps whole communities.

Why animals matter in a disaster >>

Risk reduction

WSPA works with governments and local animal welfare groups to help prepare communities in disaster-prone areas.

We set up national warning systems and show people how to prepare for disasters. This includes:

  • Adequate storage and protection of food and water.
  • Identifying animals so they can easily be reunited with their owners. 
  • Methods for removing animals safely. 
  • Strengthening and securing animal shelters. 
  • Vaccination programmes.

Rapid response

A WSPA vehicle distributes hay for livestock after flooding, Argentina

When disaster strikes, WSPA’s staff can be there within days through our global network of disaster response teams. Our member societies help get relief programmes up and running quickly.

WSPA provides emergency veterinary care through static and mobile clinics, feeds hungry animals and reunites animals with their owner wherever possible.

WSPA has been doing relief work in disaster-struck areas for more than four decades.

Read more about two of our recent interventions, in the wake of Hurricane Felix in Nicaragua and of flooding in Bangladesh.

Rehabilitation

WSPA aims to get living conditions back to normal – or improve them – for all affected animals. Restoring veterinary care is crucial.

Often WSPA uses the aftermath to put in place plans for the relief of future disaster situations in the area. These can become models for preparation work elsewhere.

In Australia

In Australia, WSPA focuses on ensuring that animals are not forgotten in emergency management planning. WSPA has been moving animals to the forefront through working with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry – Australian Animal Welfare Strategy to establish the National Advisory Committee for Animals in Disasters.

Support us

We never know when a disaster will strike. To support WSPA’s disaster management work, click here.
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Cattle, camels and donkeys suffering from drought, Kenya