With tropical cyclone Yasi due to make landfall in northern Queensland this week, the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is warning people with animals to be prepared.
Australian Veterinary Association spokesperson Dr Jodie Wilson warns that in addition to planning for cyclones ourselves, it’s important to make arrangements for our animals too.
“Preparing ahead of time and acting quickly can be the best way to keep yourself, your family, and your animals out of harm’s way,” said Dr Wilson.
“Be prepared for possible disruption to services, including power, water and phone lines for extended periods of time. Prepare for your animals by putting together a pet or livestock emergency kit,” she said.
The AVA has produced a series of brochures with useful information about protecting pets and livestock during the cyclone season. Information is also available on the AVA’s website at: www.ava.com.au/about_pets and www.ava.com.au/publicinfo.
The key things to think about when preparing a pet for a cyclone are:
· If a cyclone hits, are you going to evacuate or stay at home?
· If you need to evacuate, do you have a place to take your animals? Consider friends, kennels and animal shelters outside the danger zone.
· If your pet is staying at home, think about confining it in the safest enclosed room of the house e.g. the bathroom, and DO NOT tie your pet up. Make sure there’s food and water.
· Talk to your neighbours and tell them about your evacuation plans in case you are away.
· Ensure your emergency kit contains plenty of non-perishable food (e.g. dry food) and water in spill-proof containers.
· Make sure your pet is microchipped and has a current collar and tag in case it gets lost.
If you are at home with your pet during a cyclone, try to keep them as calm as possible.
For horses and livestock
The key things to think about when preparing horses and livestock for a cyclone are:
· If evacuation is impossible, move your horses and livestock to the safest place possible on the premises.
· Whether you leave livestock in yards or in the paddock should depend on the type of emergency and the risk of injury from material or trees in the paddocks, the likelihood of flooding and the stability of their yards.
· If time permits, secure or remove all loose objects.
· Animals need to be identified in case they get lost during wild weather.
· Make sure the horses and livestock have access to a safe food and water source. Do not rely on automatic water systems as power may be lost.
· It is also important to make sure that you have alternative sources of feed. This may mean having a storage shed on or off-site specifically for storing feed, or a prearrangement with a stock feed supplier for such situations.
The Australian Veterinary Association encourages those in affected areas to talk to their local veterinarians about planning for a cyclone and preparing an emergency kit.
Media Relations Manager
The Australian Veterinary AssociationUnit 40, 6 Herbert StreetSt Leonards NSW 2065
Ph: 02 9431 5062
Fax: 02 9437 9068Mob: 0439 628 898www.ava.com.au