Emergency response focus drawn to animal welfare

The workshop in Hillarys focused on managing animal welfare during emergencies. Pictures: Dana Weeks
The workshop in Hillarys focused on managing animal welfare during emergencies. Pictures: Dana Weeks

ANIMAL welfare during emergencies was the focus of a Hillarys workshop this week.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and WA Local Government Association held the August 20 workshop to build community capacity to manage animal welfare during emergency response situations.

In WA, those include fires, cyclones and floods that could endanger livestock, horses, companion animals and wildlife.

Department experts and New Zealand animal emergency management expert Hayley Squance provided local governments and peak industry bodies with the tools and skills to respond to, and for recovery from, emergency situations that impact on animals.

City of Joondalup representatives Ron Randell and Paul Hrovatin with animal emergency management expert Hayley Squance, State animal welfare emergency coordinator Amanda Nadi-Wallace, Derrick Briggs from the City of Joondalup and Simone Clarke from the City of Wanneroo.

The department’s biosecurity executive director Katherine Clift said being prepared to deal with a range of threats that could impact on animals in an emergency was the best protection for them.

“Workshops provide the platform to discuss how animals are impacted by different types of emergencies, and how this impacts emergency management and community resilience and recovery,” she said.

“There will also be an opportunity to discuss the integration of animal welfare considerations into local government to plans, policies and procedures for preparedness for, response to and recovery from emergencies.

“This approach will help to promote a consistent and collaborative approach for managing animals in future emergencies.”

Wanneroo and Joondalup representatives working on a group exercise at the animal welfare in emergencies workshop.

A second workshop is planned in Albany on August 22.

Both lead into a one-day emergency response desktop exercise in September to test the State Support Plan – Animal Welfare in Emergencies.

Visit www.agric.wa.gov.au for more information.