As the country remains on orange alert ahead of the tropical storm, farmers, livestock, and pet owners are being advised to take all caution to ensure that their animals are secure should the weather turn dangerous and flooding begins.
Following are some tips you may want to adhere to-
- Ensure large animals are in stables or pens that are dry and above potential flood water levels. For animals that are grazed outdoors, do not leave them tied outside during the storm.
- Ensure there is an adequate supply of clean water ( stored in leak-proof tanks) as water may be cut after heavy rains.
- Ensure you have an adequate supply of food stored in waterproof containers and sealed. If possible keep it in a high spot where it can’t get washed away should your area flood.
- Speak with your vet and have an emergency supply of medication should you need to treat bloat, diahorrea, or any conditions your animals are prone to. Also, have basic wound and birthing supplies if you have animals that are pregnant or due to put down babies.
- Have a supply of dry grass, indigestible fiber or plant material in storage as areas you harvest from may be contaminated after floods.
- For smaller livestock like rabbits please ensure their housing remains dry and well ventilated. If possible use a tarp rather than unsecured galvanize sheets to cover cages from the rains as it is less likely to get free and cause damage during a storm.
- Remember female rabbits may become agitated and panicked during storms because of the weather and loud noises. This may cause her to damage her babies, please be vigilant.
- Ensure you have food and water, and containers to store them should you need to evacuate.
- Ensure you have proper ID tags ( name and cell phone) should they become lost.
- Have medicine like antibiotics, wound treatment and medication to keep them calm available.
- Do not tie pets outside or leave them kenneled where they can be washed away with flood waters or drown. Please bring them inside or leash them in an area that is dry and safe.
- Do not abandon animals. If you cannot carry your animals with you during evacuation please ask for help from an animal welfare group or vet, to board them. If you are unable to get help leave enough food and water for them and leave a sign on your door or gate that an animal is inside that needs to be rescued.
After the flood:
- Do not allow animals to remain in or drink from flood waters.
- Check your animals for injuries, wounds, signs of illness, lack of appetite, etc and if you observe any of these symptoms, contact a Vet immediately.
- Quarantine sick animals.
- Assess building structures before returning animals to cages or pens.
- Avoid feeding fresh food that may have been contaminated by flood waters.
- Take photographs and record dead livestock.
- Cover any dead livestock with plastic bags and bury or burn all dead animals.
For further information, members of the public can contact the Veterinary Officer attached to the Ministry of Land, Agriculture and Fisheries:
National Animal Disease and Information Centre- 693-1682
Caroni/ Chase Village- 672-4411
Mayaro/ Nariva/ Rio Claro- 644-2326
St Andrew/ St David/ El Reposo- 668-2712
St Patrick East/ Penal- 647-4672
Victoria/ Craignish- 655-8410
St George East/ Wallerfield- 667-8488
St George West/ Curepe- 662-5986
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