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Preparing Ahead For Disasters

27 April 2010

CANADA - Canadian livestock producers are being warned to plan ahead for disasters such as fires, floods and tornados.

"Having a plan thought out in advance of disaster will help owners make the best decisions for their livestock in difficult and potentially life threatening situations. It is important, however, to remember that in any emergency or disaster, human safety always comes first," says Adrienne Herron, livestock welfare tech transfer specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.

Having a disaster plan is simple and doesn't cost livestock owners anything. Regardless of the type of disaster there are some easy and generic types of information livestock owners can gather:

  • plan out at least two emergency escape routes from any land/barns where livestock are kept;
  • plan where you would take livestock (rodeo grounds, vet clinics, other farms, auction yards, etc.)
  • prepare a list of emergency contacts (potential help, transportation and handlers)
  • review your plan with neighbours and family in case your not available.

Another key step in disaster preparedness is having a list of the livestock you own or care for, including identification such as brands, tattoos, pictures, tags, etc. In certain disaster situations releasing livestock from barns or pens is the only option available. Describing and recovering livestock is much simpler when animals are identifiable.

"The risk to livestock from fires is especially high this year with less than average snow and rainfall," adds Mr Herron. "Planning ahead for potential disasters may safeguard the well-being of your livestock and provide for a little piece of mind."

For more information on disaster preparedness for livestock check out the American Veterinary Medical Association website www.avma.org/disaster/.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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