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Mercy mission underway for animals in Haiti

Monday 4th October 2004

Mercy mission underway for animals on hurricane-hit Haiti

The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) is mounting a mercy mission to provide desperately needed life-saving supplies of food and medicines for thousands of animals injured, trapped or starving on Haiti, in the wake of the recent hurricanes that have plagued the Caribbean.

In Haiti, WSPA estimates that some 40,000 animals are in urgent need of help in the region around the city of Gonaives. WSPA plans to focus its efforts on preventing the disease outbreaks that typically follow in the wake of disasters.

Supplies of vital medicines, such as antibiotics, multi-vitamins and worming drugs, will be provided to treat tens of thousands of animals that are at risk from diseases such as Newcastle disease (in poultry), anthrax (in cattle), porcine fever (pigs) and leptospirosis (dogs). WSPA also plans to approach the Pan American Health Organisation for a coordinated rabies vaccination campaign for dogs on the island.

Major General Peter Davies, WSPA’s Director General, said, “Haiti’s surviving farm and domestic animals will die from disease or infection without our help. We are in a race against time to save animals that are growing weaker with each passing day. WSPA’s aim is to help to save as many animals from dying as possible and ensure that they do not become the forgotten victims of this disaster.”

WSPA estimates that tens of thousands of farm animals and pets have died in the Caribbean so far, with some islands having suffered huge losses of poultry. In Jamaica alone, an estimated ten million chickens, 40 per cent of the poultry population, have died, along with thousands of sheep and goats.

Working alongside its member societies in the region, WSPA is continuing to direct its efforts to helping animals that are in desperate need. Emergency relief has already been provided in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, Panama and Venezuela. Future options may include deployment of WSPA personnel in addition to further aid to WSPA member societies on the ground.

ENDS

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