Governments must commit to protecting animals in disasters
Protecting animals in disasters is critical to reducing suffering, and safeguarding food security and livelihoods. We’re at a United Nations event in Mexico this week (25 May 2017), calling on governments to include animals in disaster policies
Governments in Mexico, Costa Rica and India already include animal welfare in their national policies to reduce risk to animals in disasters. However, many countries have not yet committed to protect animals when a disaster occurs.
We’re at the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) conference in Cancun, Mexico this week, calling on governments to commit to including animals in disaster risk reduction policies.
Saving people’s lives is the priority when a disaster occurs, but protecting animals must come a close second.
Disasters cost billions annually and protecting farm animals is a way for governments to save lives and livelihoods. It can also reduce the length of time a disaster continues to impact a country, after the event.
Along with Mexico’s National Center for Disaster Prevention, we’re hosting a side event called 'Resilience from within: protecting animals, securing livelihoods, saving families'. This will help attendees further understand why it’s so important to protect animals in disasters.
Gerardo Huertas, our global director of disaster management, said:
"When major disasters strike, the survival of people and the recovery of whole communities are inextricably linked to the survival of animals. We must reduce the risks of losing livestock for poor people by strengthening their capabilities to cope with recurring disasters.
"A disaster can destroy a family’s annual income, whilst also having the power to devastate a whole nation; making resilience building a vital step. By helping animals, we are sustainably safeguarding livelihoods, food security and building resilience to disasters."
7 million animals in 50 years
For more than 50 years, we have worked with governments, humanitarian organisations and grassroots communities to reduce vulnerability to disasters.
During this time we have provided aid to over 7 million animals affected by disasters, in 250 responses.