World Animal Protection Assisting Animal Recovery In Kerala Post-Floods
The World Animal Protection, along with the Department of Animal Husbandry of Kerala and Indian Red Cross Society – Kerala, are partnering on the recovery and reconstruction for animals affected by the recent floods. The Department of Animal Husbandry has said that 46,016 livestock and 2,500,000 poultry succumbed to the floods and continuous heavy rains.
“The impact on animals cannot be overstated. In some areas, virtually all animals were killed or suffered in the days following the deluge. We are in Kerala to provide relief to as many animals as possible and to see how this tragedy can be prevented from recurring in the future. Together with the Department of Animal Husbandry and the Indian Red Cross Society we are ensuring that animal welfare needs are met concurrent with the humanitarian effort,” said Gajender K Sharma, India Country Director at World Animal Protection.
Working across 12 locations in five districts – Alappuzha, Pathnamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam and Thrissur districts, our disaster response teams are addressing the persistent needs of livestock left stranded in evacuation camps following the record floods that began in July. Following intensive support from the government and humanitarian agencies the situation for affected people is slowly improving.
However, animals are facing prolonged hardships and suffering, working animals will be pushed to make up for all the loses in agriculture, and will need feed and mineral supplements, which World Animal Protection is providing to the most vulnerable of them.
“The Kerala floods remind us that disaster preparedness for animals is critically important. Many of these animals could have been saved if a disaster plan were in place that included their needs. We are engaging the Kerala government to ensure they develop a plan for protecting animals during disasters and to offer our technical support in developing the plan. Animals are often the forgotten victims of disasters. We are here to be a voice for the voiceless,” said Hansen Thambi Prem, Disasters Projects Manager India at World Animal Protection.
India has led the way in many respects on animal protection. Following years of efforts, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in 2013 instructed all the States and Union Territories to integrate animals in their respective disaster management plans and programmes. Kerala has not yet done so, but we are closely working with State and district officials to enable them to launch plans and policies that will protect animals and the livelihoods of people who depend on them in future disasters.
World Animal Protection has over 50 years of experience in protecting animals during disasters. In India, World Animal Protection works with the National Disaster Management Authority, and has also provided training to the National Disaster Response Force to manage animals during disasters throughout the subcontinent.