The State Government is seeking feedback from animal owners and the community on a draft framework for animal welfare management during emergencies in South Australia.
Managing Animal in Emergencies: a Framework for South Australia has been developed to help animal owners understand their responsibilities when it comes to looking after animals in emergencies.
The guide has been developed by Primary Industries and Regions SA, in conjunction with emergency services and animal welfare organisations.
It includes feedback from consultation earlier in the year by farmers, property owners, and pet owners about how they care for their animals during and after an emergency.
The consultation is open on the yourSAy website www.yoursay.sa.gov.au/managing-animals until November 18, 2016. The framework will be released for use before the end of January 2017.
The framework outlines government responsibilities and the services provided by a range of agencies and organisations to support animal owners in the event of major fires, extreme heat, floods, storms or even uncommon events such as chemical escapes or earthquakes.
Research and recent experience has shown that many people are still failing to plan ahead for what they will do with their animals in emergency situations. Unfortunately this can lead to dangerous or fatal consequences for both animals and their owners/carers.
Funded by the Natural Disaster Resilience Program, the Animals in Emergencies SA Framework Project will provide recommendations to the State Emergency Management Committee.
Quotes attributable to Emergency Services Minister Peter Malinauskas
The injury and loss of animals in major emergencies such as fires, floods, severe storms and extreme heatwaves has a very powerful impact on many owners’ ability to recover from these events. Obviously, for farmers and livestock owners such losses can lead to economic hardship.
The Sampson Flat and Pinery fires resulted in the known deaths of more than 72,000 animals including livestock, pets and wildlife. There were also stock losses as a result of the recent Gawler River Plains floods.
We hope this project and the draft framework will assist animal owners and producers to understand their responsibilities and the services which may support them in preparing for their animals’ safety.
As part of this week’s Bushfire Safety Week, the State Government is emphasising the importance of planning for bushfires, but it is equally important we plan for other types of emergencies as well.
Please take advantage of this opportunity to give feedback on this framework and consider the welfare of your animals when undertaking your emergency and bushfire preparations.