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Help is on the way for animals suffering after Cyclone Pam

Help is on the way for animals suffering after Cyclone Pam


A team of disaster response vets from World Animal Protection are on their way to Vanuatu, to help animals who've been injured or left without shelter, after Cyclone Pam left the South Pacific nation devastated.

Bridget Vercoe, World Animal Protection’s New Zealand Country Director, says: “Cyclone Pam has utterly devastated the communities of Vanuatu. We know from experience that animals will be in dire need, injured, starving, open to the elements and at high risk of disease. They will be in desperate need of emergency veterinary care, emergency feed and shelter. Helping these animals will also help the people who rely so heavily on them for their livelihoods, transport and food.”

“About two-thirds of people in Vanuatu make a living from agriculture, so our work to protect their animals will help protect their future livelihoods.”

World Animal Protection’s disaster team will be:

Immediately assisting animals on the ground injured by the cyclone and meeting basic needs for survival.
Assessing the wider and longer term needs for the animals in partnership with the government.
Running a mobile clinic first in the Port Vila area and then as areas open up, in the more heavily affected Southern islands to provide support to animals and their owners.

Prior to the storm, World Animal Protection contacted radio stations and newspapers across Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Tuvalu and New Zealand with emergency preparedness tips for animal owners. Following Cyclone Lusi, which hit Vanuatu a year ago, World Animal Protection provided veterinary kits to each of the six provinces in Vanuatu, to improve the island’s ability to help animals in future disasters. Cyclone Pam will be the first time that is put to the test, says Ms Vercoe.

“Protecting the animals will be an integral part of Vanuatu’s recovery, and that is what we are there to do.”

ENDS

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