Hurricane planning for horses and livestock

The following tips are suggested to protect the health and safety of horses and livestock and their owners in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster. These suggestions are in addition to basic measures you should take to protect yourself and your family.

Hurricane planning for pets and small animals

The following tips are suggested to protect the health and safety of pets and small animals and their owners in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster. These suggestions are in addition to basic measures you should take to protect yourself and your family.

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For more information:
Joe Kight
(850) 410-0900
 

florida-agriculture.com

Agriculture Press Release

October 16, 2000

Crawford urges Floridians to remember pets in hurricane preparation

TALLAHASSEE -- Reminding Floridians that hurricane season continues through November, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford today advised pet and livestock owners to make specific plans for taking care of their animals in the event of a storm or other natural disaster.

"Those with animals in their care must take extra precautions to ensure their health and safety during disasters," said Crawford. "Although we continue to strive toward alternative sheltering for animals and their owners, most public shelters still do not accept pets or livestock, making it essential that arrangements for animals be made well before we feel the impact of the storm."

The unpredictability of hurricanes makes it difficult to quickly and safely transport horses and livestock out of the path of the storm. Owners of large animals should not attempt an out-of-county evacuation unless they leave at least three days before the storm. Consequently, plans should be made to protect and maintain animals during and after a storm on the ownerís or nearby property.

Animal owners should consider risks from both rising water and high winds. Ideal locations should have both ample space and at least a seven-day supply of clean feed and water to protect and provide for the animals. Livestock owners in the potential path of a hurricane should also make sure fences are sturdy and provisions are made to tie down or secure equipment and other items that could become projectiles in high winds.

"A good rule of thumb is that, if it isnít tied down, it is potential debris," Crawford said.

Owners of small pets may want to keep their animals with them in a secure house or other structure, or make arrangements well in advance of a hurricane to have them taken care of at a kennel or other boarding facility. Adequate plans should also be made for the safety and feeding of pets if owners must suddenly evacuate and leave animals behind. In any event, owners should have a sturdy and secure carrier or cage available for their pets. Owners also are advised to work with their pet before a storm -- placing it in the cage or carrier for short periods of time -- to get the animal accustomed to being in the confined space.

Crawford stressed that all pets and livestock should have identification firmly attached so that animals can be returned to owners if they become lost during a storm. Owners should also make sure all vaccinations, immunizations and other health-care requirements are up to date, and that records are maintained in a secure and accessible location.

While emergency management officials have made plans for the handling and management of stray pets and livestock following a natural disaster, animal owners can facilitate this effort by making adequate preparations before a storm.

"Remember, your pets and livestock depend on you during an emergency," Crawford said.

For information about preparing your pets and livestock for a hurricane, contact your local county emergency management team, or the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Animal Industry, at (850) 410-0900.


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