Ag. Deputy Chief Information Officer
Department of Information & Public Relations
Owners of livestock, horses, poultry and rabbits are urged to create or review disaster plans for their animals in their continued preparations this hurricane season.
Director at the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Mr. Theodore James said animals can be injured by flooding, fire, winds, flying debris and other dangers associated with a hurricane. He said protecting livestock during this time should be of major importance.
Mr. James said, “We may believe that animals are safer inside barns and pens, but in many circumstances, confinement takes away the animals' ability to protect themselves. Most animals are used to being outside in bad weather and their instinct will drive them to seek shelter through trees or seek higher ground from floods”.
The director stated that a disaster plan should be made to protect property, facilities, and animals. He said a list must be created including emergency telephone numbers of employees, neighbours, veterinarians, animal shelters, heavy equipment and trailer operators, feed suppliers, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’ Animal and Plant Health Inspection Officer, and local volunteers. This information he said should be written down and key persons presented with a copy.
Other safety tips include:
- Making arrangements to move livestock, no later than 72 hours or (3 days) before landfall of a pending storm.
- Ensuring that livestock fencing, gates, corrals and other enclosures are in good condition and repaired.
- The safest place for large animals is an open pasture clear of trees and objects that can be blown around by the wind. Livestock instinctively seeks higher ground and should be turned loose in large fenced pastures with access to high ground in the event of flooding.
- Have a two-week supply of feed, medicine and other supplies stored in a safe location protected against flooding and high wind.
- Fill all water tanks and drums with water.
- Stock up on basic emergency supplies such as bandages, topical antibiotics and ropes to restrain injured animals.
- Secure or remove debris that might become a hazard in the event of high winds. Strap down feeders, trailers, propane tanks and other items that can be missiles in strong wind.
For more tips on how to protect your livestock, visit the department’s page on the Government’s website at bvi.gov.vg or click link https://bvi.gov.vg/content/disaster-safety-tips-livestock-horses-poultry-and-rabbits
The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is responsible for ensuring food is safe, nutritionally sound, produced and harvested in an environmentally sustainable manner that builds resilience to internal and external shocks while contributing to the economic growth, social well-being and protection of the natural environment.