Agriculture Press Release

March 23, 1999

Crawford Sponsors Animal Protection Resolution

TALLAHASSEE Florida Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford today sponsored a resolution declaring March 21-27 as "Animal Disaster Preparedness Week" and commending government officials and volunteers for establishing an animal protection plan during disasters.

The resolution, unanimously adopted by Governor Jeb Bush and the six-member Cabinet, cites the more than four years of work that was spent developing such a plan, which was inspired by the devastating effects suffered by both humans and animals from Hurricane Andrew in August 1992.

In 1995, the Florida Division of Emergency Management, based on recommendations from the U.S. Humane Society, the Florida Veterinary Medical Association, the University of Florida Veterinary College, the Sunshine State Horse Council, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and concerned animal owners, adopted the states first animal disaster plan.

Two years later, the Division of Emergency Management added a new emergency support function to the states Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, making animal protection a full partner in emergency management.

Floridas animal disaster plan is a series of recommendations for owners of both pets and farm animals to follow when a disaster or emergency occurs, including steps to be taken during an evacuation.

They include:

* Pets should never be left behind, and plans should be made ahead of time to take them out of the immediate danger area. Possible locations include the homes of friends or relatives, a veterinarians office or boarding facility.

* Pet owners should own a carrier large enough to transport their pet and have current photos and identification devices in case they become separated.

* Pet owners also should carry a first-aid kit containing all medication and medical records for their pet, as well as water and food for their animal for at least a week.

* Large animals, including horses and cattle, are best left in fenced open areas free of possible flying debris and tree branches. Like pets, make sure they have identifications attached to them, and an adequate supply of food and water.


For more information:

Terence McElroy
(850) 488-3022

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