The National Livestock Disaster Management Plan for the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries was launched recently by the Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Radha Mohan Singh – thereby syncing animal protection into the heart of disaster management. The plan for the first time ensures that animals will be included in disaster preparations, potentially saving millions of animals’ lives and building the resilience of the communities that depend on them.
The National Workshop on Management of Animals in Emergencies at the NIDM, New Delhi, saw participation from not just the Centre but also representatives from many of the state government as well.
During the two day session, the dignitaries and delegates will deliberate to identify possible solution to address the gaps and constraints faced by the various departments due to inadequate human resources on the ground, limited animal handling equipment, infrastructures to stock fodder and shelter animals, transportation of animals, carcass disposal structures, etc. This first of its kind, the National level workshop was jointly organized by NIDM, World Animal Protection and PPF.
“In India, animals are at the heart of everything, be it family, culture and livelihood, animals are an intrinsic part of our lives. It’s ironical that animals were missing in the picture till now” said the Minister of Agriculture, Radha Mohan Singh.
“In our economy, especially in rural areas, animals are extremely important. Hence, putting focus on animal rescue during disasters becomes crucial from economic viewpoint. Animals are the assets of the nation and it is our foremost duty to protect them.”
He assured that the Government would incorporate as many inputs and suggestion possible to bring in animals into the heart of disaster management.
Ashok Kumar Angurana, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, while attending the event said, “Destiny of animals and humans are intertwined and if animals are at risk, so are we. It’s a great platform where all the stakeholders have been engaged to formulize the DM plan- first of its kind initiative to develop a roadmap for the welfare of animals in emergencies. I express my sincere gratitude to NIDM, People Perspective Foundation, National Disaster Management Authority and World Animal Protection for their tremendous contribution in developing this framework.”
“At least, now we have a standard operating procedure in place to guide on what needs to be done with animals in case of emergencies. It is in the interest of human beings that animals are protected. I am sure this workshop with bring out doable and workable recommendation.”
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Prof Santosh Kumar, Executive Director, NIDM said, “We have been working persistently to integrate animals in to the Disaster Management Plan. NIDM has been working on disaster management not just in India, but with other countries as well. But all these years, it’s always been about human life.”
“We firmly believe that animals are at the heart of disaster management but it’s was until now that we didn’t have a standard protocol and procedures to be followed for their rescue and relief. With the integration of animals into this plan we hope we will be able bridge this gap which exits.”
Gajender Sharma, Country Director of World Animal Protection India, said: “It a big milestone in the journey of animals in disaster management. We have been working to bring in animals into the core of disaster management. It’s encouraging for us to get support from the Government on the incorporation of our inputs from the workshop deliberation.”
“This workshop is a great opportunity to learn and share our experiences, and we sincerely hope that by the end of this workshop, we will have clarity on how, when and what needs to be done to protect animals in disasters.”
During disasters it is not only people that suffer, animals do too: thousands lose their lives, and many more are injured and lost.
World Animal Protection works around the world to protect animals, whenever and wherever disasters happen. World Animal Protection has helped over 3 million animals affected by disasters over the last 50 years, working with people, communities and governments to prepare for disasters and protect their animals in times of crisis.
Press release source: