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Appeal launched for animals of tsunami-struck Asia

Thursday 20th January 2005

Appeal launched for animals of tsunami-struck Asia Long-term future of animals vital in the region’s overall recovery

A worldwide appeal for the animals of tsunami-struck Asia was launched today by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), an international UN-recognised charity representing nearly 500 member societies worldwide.

All funds from the appeal will go to help secure the long-term needs of animals in the region. This will help guard against future situations where large numbers of animals may be at risk of starvation, dehydration, or sickness. WSPA is committed to helping in the rebuilding of an animal welfare infrastructure to take care of the future needs of animals. This will include mass sterilisation and vaccination programmes for stray animals and the provision of mobile animal clinics in parts of the world where veterinary care is a rarity.

Kimberly Muncaster, WSPA’s New Zealand Manager, commented, “We urgently need funds to help our efforts to provide long-term support in caring for animals. By helping to manage stray animals humanely, we will hinder the spread of disease and reduce the fear of rabies. Livestock and working animals are vital to the lives of rural communities. Helping these animals plays a part in the process of people putting their lives back together.”

During the initial phase of the disaster relief work for animals, WSPA veterinarians and animal care experts have been working alongside local WSPA member societies in India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The WSPA teams have been supporting efforts to provide food and veterinary treatment for sick and injured animals, and establish temporary shelters. In conjunction with local organisations and government authorities, WSPA’s teams have drawn up plans for longer-term recovery. In Phuket alone, one of the worst hit islands of Thailand, WSPA estimates that NZ$800,000 will be needed to rebuild an infrastructure that can deal with the future needs of animals.

Major General Peter Davies CB, WSPA Director General, said, “The tragic suffering of people throughout tsunami-struck Asia has been echoed by the desperate, yet silent, plight of their animals. Animal shelters and veterinary facilities have been destroyed in some areas and animal populations practically decimated. WSPA is committed to a long term resourced plan for the area, establishing an infrastructure to provide for the future needs of animals.” -ends- Daily bulletins on WSPA’s disaster relief operation are online at www. wspa.org.nz

ENDS

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