Hurricane Irma: we deploy to protect the animals in its path

08/09/2017

Following the strongest Atlantic hurricane in history, we are deploying to protect animals – the forgotten victims of disasters. Millions of animals could be affected

Hurricane Irma is battering Caribbean nations. Our teams are providing emergency treatment for animals. This will also help the people who rely on them.

In disasters, animals experience stress and shock, get hurt or fall ill. Injuries are caused by flying debris, and illnesses are brought on by the inhalation of water, and exposure to disease.

Working with governments and vets

Our experts in the Caribbean will be:

·       working with local governments and veterinarians. They are ready to provide immediate assistance to injured animals with veterinary care, shelter and feed.

·       providing emergency vet kits, including treatments for diarrhoea, pneumonia and other diseases, transmitted easily after disasters.

·       assessing the longer-term needs of animals in partnership with the governments of affected states.

 Near total devastation

The world has not seen a storm with sustained winds of this speed since Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the Philippines in 2013.

The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda described the devastation as “near total” and estimated upward of 95% of the structures on the island are damaged or destroyed.

Steven Clegg, our international response manager said: “We are very concerned for the animals who are often forgotten victims of disasters. Our teams are on the way to protect them.

“Initial reports of damage in places like Barbuda are staggering. This is a storm like virtually no other.”

 A critical time

The coming days are critical for the people who rely on their animals to make ends meet. If their animals die, their hopes of rebuilding their lives will perish too. As the recovery process begins, saving animals will help provide stability for their future.

We encourage governments to put in place disaster plans and measures to protect  animals and communities in the event of a disaster. In Kenya, we are urging the government to effect it's disaster management policy following a hard hitting drough that affected the lives of thousands of animals. Join us on this call by signing our petition here

Update: Hurricane Irma response

A boy rounds up his chickens into his house in the neighbourhood of Aviation, in Cap-Haitian on 7th September 2017, before the arrival of Hurricane Irma. Credit: Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images

All flights to Antigua are currently cancelled, but our disaster response team hopes to be able to fly there tomorrow (Sunday September 10). While in transit,...