THE INTERNATIONAL WORKING GROUPON ANIMALS IN DISASTERSCo-Chairs:Larry Winter Roeder, Jr. MSUnited Nations Affairs Director...
ANIMAL RELIEF IS GOOD PUBLIC POLICY                                                               and humanitarian relief ...
BASIC RULES1. Veterinarians and animal protection experts should  be included in disaster assessment teams and their  advi...
INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS                                                                                 EARLY WARNING AND PRE...
PROPER ANIMAL EVACUATION POLICY RULES1. Even with proper early warning, adequate resources   6. Although often hard to do ...
DISEASE PREVENTION AND CONTROL                                                    • Increasing numbers of animals kept und...
FOOD SECURITY                                             increases the essential consumption of protein and              ...
POVERTY REDUCTIONRecommendationGiven the dependence of many people on livestock,introducing animal related disaster preven...
RESOURCESAnimals in Disasters. Module A: Awareness and          Guidelines for the killing of animals for diseasePreparedn...
LINKSWorld Society for the Protection of Animalswww.wspa-usa.orgInformation and resources can be found inthe Disaster Reli...
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  2. 2. THE INTERNATIONAL WORKING GROUPON ANIMALS IN DISASTERSCo-Chairs:Larry Winter Roeder, Jr. MSUnited Nations Affairs Director, WSPA, USAPhone: 001-703-327-0057Fax: 001-703-327-0058Email: undirector@wspausa.orgDr. Badaoui RouhbanChief, Section for Disaster Reduction, UNESCOFor information on the IWGAID, contactMr. Roeder at paper is the product of the InternationalWorking Group on Animals in Disasters (IWGAID)a body of experts in disaster management,humanitarian relief and animal welfare from:World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)United NationsNuclear Energy Agency of the Organization forEconomic Cooperation and Development (OECD)World Society for the Protection of Animals(WSPA) and its member societies, working inconsultation with a number of other concernedorganizations including the International Federationof Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).© 2008 IWGAID
  3. 3. ANIMAL RELIEF IS GOOD PUBLIC POLICY and humanitarian relief for mutual advantage; however the participants recognized that “risk reduction” mustAbout a billion of the world’s poorest people1 depend also be part of the overall policy as well, especiallyon animals for food, income, social status or cultural as envisaged by the UN’s International Strategy onidentification, as well as companionship and security. Disaster Reduction office (ISDR). To facilitate imple-Disaster victims will also often protect their animals mentation of the paper’s proposals, a field handbookeven to their own detriment. To them, losing animals of basic guidance and instruction should be draftedfrom a natural or man made disaster is a catastrophe. that draws on existing work and new thinking to dealIn the developed world entire industries also depend with livestock and work/companion animals in majoron animals, making risk reduction an important tool disasters where the scope is hurricanes, tsunamis,to protect trade and food security. As seen in the floods, fires, industrial accidents or conflict. OtherHurricane Katrina disaster, protecting companion products should also focus on chronic crises likeanimals is also a consideration for many cultures. long-term droughts. Public or private agencies, local or national governments involved in disaster reliefPolicy makers in local and national governments, are invited to participate so that the products areInternational Organizations and humanitarian aid practical and of value to anyone in an emergency.agencies must be encouraged to ensure that humani-tarian disaster management is pursued in such a way IMPLEMENTING A WORKABLE POLICYthat it reduces risks to both humans and animals.With effective planning and partners, this can be Best practices must be exercised and developed as adone at the same time, reduce poverty and hunger, team effort between the various related professionaland be an important contribution to cultural preser- communities. The IWGAID recommends joint exer-vation and disease reduction. cises by the humanitarian and animal welfare/relief communities, taking into account local requirementsThe focus of this paper is on the response and pre- and limitations so that the practices fit the economic,paredness phases of acute disasters, including conflict, political and social pressures of the real world.with general recommendations for integrating animal1 700 million or “Approximately one-quarter of the global poor, of whom 2.8 billion live on less than US$2 per day, are livestock keepers.” Source: Livestock - A Resource 1Neglected in Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers, FAO.
  4. 4. BASIC RULES1. Veterinarians and animal protection experts should be included in disaster assessment teams and their advice used in community disaster planning.2. Where possible, humanitarian relief bodies and local governments should involve animal care groups such as international animal welfare relief NGOs to provide shelter, rescue and veterinary care and generally augment the humanitarian community.3. Humanitarian aid workers should be given basic stray animal awareness training for safety reasons.4. Joint training between animal care and human- itarian relief workers will enhance the ability of both communities to work together and ensure an approach to disaster management that saves both people and animals at the least cost.5. Policy makers should take into account practical indigenous techniques and economic, trade or social restrictions. CONSEQUENCES OF GETTING IT WRONG• Food security may be threatened and poverty • Livestock and work animals are expensive and and vulnerability to disease increased by getting difficult to replace at equal value. the animal component of disaster management wrong, consequences which in themselves can • Disaster victims are sometimes denied their animals, lead to conflict. for security reasons, impact on the host government or other reasons. Policy makers need to understand• Some people will not enter refugee camps unless that this can be disastrous for the victims when they provision is made for their companion animals return to their homes after the crisis is over. or livestock – creating a security issue. • Abandoned free-roaming animals, particularly large• Many people will share their vital rations with animals, may become liabilities (e.g. causing road their animals if food is not provided for livestock, traffic and other types of accident). In addition companion or work animals – reducing human livestock and pets may contract disease, which may nutritional levels. then spread to contact animals.• The loss of herds creates a strong psychological • Some diseases may be transmissible to humans via dilemma for victims of disasters, who not only lose unprotected contacts, raw food consumption or possibly their main economic base, but also the bites and scratches (zoonoses). focus of their family and culture.2
  5. 5. INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS EARLY WARNING AND PREPAREDNESSRecommendationTo protect people, emergency planning must addressthreats posed to animals and their food by accidents atindustrial facilities, by involving relevant stakeholders.BackgroundIndustrial accidents can result in contamination,sometimes thousands of kilometers away, whichcan last for years. A contaminated animal meanscontaminated food. In some cases, this can directlydeprive people of food, their livelihood, or both.For example, in Norway, following the nuclearaccident at Chernobyl, reindeer husbanded by theSami people experienced high levels of contamina- Recommendationtion. Rather than abandon the reindeer, dialogue Although as in Hurricane Katrina, inadequatebetween the public authorities and the Sami identi- response can be devastating, early warning is alsofied solutions that allowed them to continue their crucial. Working in conjunction with the Hyogoway of life, with the reindeer. Twenty years after the framework2 and the UN Platform on Early Warning,accident, restrictions are still in place but the Sami agencies, governments, academia and animal welfareand their reindeer are still there. NGOs should collaborate on the advancement of early warning and preparedness science and proce-Disasters are on the rise because people and animals dures particular to the owners of animal populations,increasingly live in hazard prone areas without effec- especially local pastoralists and farmers. Early warningtive preparedness techniques. systems for animals should also be aligned with national/provincial systems for human communities. Contingency plans should be based on these warning systems and also aligned with humanitarian contin- gency plans. Disaster-prone areas must have available the ability to forecast natural calamities and the resources to react promptly and effectively when hazards strike. Background Early Warning systems can save significant numbers of livestock and property from impending disasters by: • Creating awareness of risks a community is likely to encounter, • Ensuring a constant state of preparedness, • Guiding the community in implementing workable disaster prevention interventions such as building codes, road systems and placement of animals, • Disseminating timely messages in a format that is understood by the local community.2 The Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) was adopted at the 2005 World Conference on Disaster Reduction and is a global intergovernmental blueprint for disaster risk 3reduction efforts during the next decade. Its goal is to substantially reduce disaster losses by 2015 - in lives, and in the social, economic, and environmental assets of communitiesand countries.
  6. 6. PROPER ANIMAL EVACUATION POLICY RULES1. Even with proper early warning, adequate resources 6. Although often hard to do in conflict situations or must be available to evacuate animals, otherwise the developing world, successful evacuation of live- they may die or be stolen — a major loss to a frag- stock requires: ile economy and a foundation for future conflict. • Understanding the threat,2. Sanitation and safety considerations restrict ani- mals from camps yet disaster victims know their • Marking/identification of ownership of animals, animals are their future and may refuse to enter camps without animals being provided for. • Planning and clearing routes out of danger and to safety,3. Whenever practical, areas adjacent to camps should be provided, perhaps maintained by the • People to manage and implement the process, victims with help from animal care professionals. • Fodder and water on route and at point of refuge,4. While disaster victims should have the right to keep their animals, the introduction of new animals • Prepared corrals with stockpiled/available fodder in a host community can be very damaging to the and water, local economy, so a balanced policy is needed. • Security to protect the animals from theft.5. Animal welfare professionals should co-design with the humanitarian community policies and proce- dures to reduce losses from evacuations.4
  7. 7. DISEASE PREVENTION AND CONTROL • Increasing numbers of animals kept under tradi- tional husbandry systems without introduction ofRecommendation improved animal health promotion and diseaseVeterinarians, veterinary services3 and other animal prevention policy/techniques/education,health and welfare professionals can reduce these risksin many practical ways. These include the provision • Promotion of intensive farming without properof advice on basic health and hygiene requirements biosecurity (bioexclusion and biocontainment)for livestock management and movement. Organizing practices in place,“train the trainer” programs is a useful means oftransferring knowledge from trained professionals to • Increased contacts and exchange of microbial agentsother people working within communities. Even in between wildlife and livestock on farms, duringthe face of a disaster, it is important to try and main- transportation and at market levels,tain disease prevention and control programs alreadyestablished and to provide a basis for these to be • Increasing numbers of pets, particularly dogs inadjusted to deal with the disaster event. Where certain countries, and of animal species used as pets.slaughter of infected and at risk animals is a necessarypart of controlling a disease, it should be carried outas humanely as possible, and in compliance with OIEstandards. Vaccination programs to control certaindiseases, supervised by the Official Veterinary Service,can also have a significant effect in preventing theintroduction and spread of these diseases.BackgroundLarge scale disease outbreaks are among the most seri-ous of disasters, having the potential to kill millionsof animals and people and to devastate the economiesof local communities and entire countries. Epizooticscan spread quickly across political boundaries andthreaten the global livestock and poultry industries.Many of the emerging diseases that have recentlycrossed the human species barrier were of animal COMPANION ANIMALSorigin. Factors that contribute to the emergence and ARE A SPECIAL CASEspread of animal diseases include: In situations like Hurricane Katrina where there is• Malnutrition in animals, often a consequence of a strong link between companion animals and the chronic disasters and poverty, human population, preparedness is the key with animal care agencies supporting the humanitarian• Failure to control parasitic diseases, organizations with animal accommodations, prefer- ably near the owners.• Other mistreatment or neglect of animals which reduces their natural resistance to disease (e.g. To control security and disease, rabies vaccination overcrowding or overstressing), programs should be used as a minimum where this disease is endemic. The reason this is important is• Movement of animals, particularly when from because of the much higher density of disease vectors. mixed sources, Humane stray dog control measures can be imple- mented to manage populations in and near human camps.3 According to the OIE definition. (World Organization for Animal Health (OIE): 5Terrestrial Animal Health Code, 15th Ed. OIE, Paris, 2006, 652pp)
  8. 8. FOOD SECURITY increases the essential consumption of protein and creates employment opportunities beyond the imme-Recommendation diate household. Livestock are vulnerable to slow onsetThe development community should ensure that live- disasters such as drought, as well as acute disasters suchstock are recognized for the essential contribution as conflict, earthquakes, floods, storm surge and highthey make to the livelihoods of the most vulnerable wind events. If the risks are not managed, loss ofsectors of society, and their potential to improve livestock in such events can easily upset the delicatenutrition and provide assets to lift people out of balance and trigger a humanitarian disaster.abject poverty. Reducing the vulnerability of livestockkeepers and their animals to social and environmentalshocks is a basic humanitarian goal.BackgroundLivestock ownership is estimated to support and sus-tain the livelihoods of 700 million rural poorthroughout the world. Livestock can provide a steadystream of food and revenue and help to raise overallfarm productivity. For the poor and landless livestockis often the only livelihood option available. Animalsallow them to exploit common property resources forprivate gain and often present the only means of assetaccumulation and risk diversification that can preventa slide into abject poverty. Livestock ownership also CONFLICT: ANIMALS AS COLLATERAL DAMAGE Livestock provide food and using food as a weapon of war is illegal under the Geneva conventions. Often military action can kill or maim livestock, thus damaging the local economy and food supply. The IWGAID urges governments to show restraint when conducting aerial or land operations in agri- cultural areas, in order to minimize this risk. and to comply with their obligations under the Geneva Conventions.6
  9. 9. POVERTY REDUCTIONRecommendationGiven the dependence of many people on livestock,introducing animal related disaster prevention andresponse measures should be a high priority ofpoverty reduction policy, keeping in mind theHyogo framework and local resources.BackgroundLivestock are generally not insured. If they are notprotected from catastrophes, farmers and pastoralistscan lose their entire income and go into a cycle ofdebt. In many developing countries, animals that bearcargo are also an important income source. In Africaand in the Middle East, cattle, equines and camelsrepresent the wealth holding of individuals andcommunities. Protecting livestock is therefore morethan just preserving income.However, overstocked and overgrazed land cancontribute to drought-type disasters, so educationin proper land use should also be a part of anintegrated poverty reduction plan.In some regions with high population density andlack of crop lands, raising animals like poultry canbe the difference between starvation and meeting ©SPANAminimal nutritional needs, between abject povertyand economic advancement. CHRONIC DISASTERSFor all these reasons, animal husbandry and handlingare important. Poor husbandry or mishandling can Though they are not the focus of this paper,create unhealthy, less productive animals, or even chronic disasters can contribute to issues such asinjuries and deaths. disease, deforestation and over population. Public policy makers need to keep in mind that long term disasters like droughts and seasonal heat waves reduce the available water and the viability of land for raising livestock of any kind. Stress on water reserves in Africa and North America is currently at a high level and climatic changes over the next decade are apt to make matters worse. This is an important alarm bell for those planning land use, concerning both volume of animals on a given piece of land as well as the appropriateness of the presence of certain species in that land. 7
  10. 10. RESOURCESAnimals in Disasters. Module A: Awareness and Guidelines for the killing of animals for diseasePreparedness. Independent Study Course, IS-10. control purposes.Federal Emergency Management Agency, Appendix 3.7.6 of the OIE Animal Health Code 2006.Washington, DC (USA), July 1998. 186 pp. World Organization for Animal Health, Paris, France. 3.7.6.htmAnimals in Disasters. Module B: CommunityPreparedness. Independent Study Course, IS-11. Managing livestock sector during floods andFederal Emergency Management Agency, cyclones.Washington, DC (USA), July 1998. 178 pp. Sastry NSR. J. rural Dev., 1994, 13(4), 583-592. Participation of veterinarians in disasterAnimal Management in Disaster. management.Heath SE. Mosby Year Book. St. Louis, MO (USA), Heath SE, Hooks, J, Dorn, R, Casper J, Linnabary1999. 320 pp. RD, Marshall KE. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc., 1997, 210(3), 325-328.Disaster management in India: the case oflivestock and poultry.Sen A, Chander M. Rev. sci. tech. Off. int. Epiz.,2003, 22(3), 915-930.Disaster Planning Manual for Animals.Humane Society of the United States,Washington, DC (USA). management of disasters involvinglivestock in developing countries.Heath SE, Kenyon SJ, Zepeda-Sein C. Rev. sci. tech.Off. int. Epiz., 1999, 18(1), 256-271.Disaster Preparedness for Livestock.Humane Society of the United States,Washington, DC (USA), 2001. Preparedness and Response Guide.American Veterinary Medical Association,Schaumburg, IL (USA).
  11. 11. LINKSWorld Society for the Protection of Animalswww.wspa-usa.orgInformation and resources can be found inthe Disaster Relief, United Nations Affairs andUniversal Declaration sections.RELIEFWEBwww.reliefweb.intThe best disaster web site in the UN system. The UNGeneral Assembly mandates that all UN agencies andNGOs post information on ReliefWeb.Food and Agriculture Organizationof the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italyhttp://www.fao.orgPrimary international organization in the UN systemdealing with animals.World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)Paris, Francehttp://www.oie.intPrimary international organization outside the UNsystem dealing with animals.International Strategy for Disaster Reduction(ISDR), Geneva, Switzerlandhttp://www.unisdr.orgPrimary UN organization mandated to coordinatethe ISDR.Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards. are being developed as a set of internationalguidelines and standards for the design, implementa-tion and assessment of livestock interventions to assistpeople affected by humanitarian crises.Organization for Economic Co-operationand Development’s Nuclear Energy Agency(OECD-NEA), Paris, Francehttp://www.nea.frhttp://www.oecd.orgUnited Nations Educational, Scientific andCultural Organization (UNESCO), Paris, France 9