30 January 2010

Animal relief efforts continue in Haiti

(photo credit: flickr.com/photos/46891418@N08)

The Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH) led by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) continues to provide relief for animals affected by the destructive January 12 earthquake.

The coalition—which also includes The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Humane Society International (HSI)—has deployed a mobile clinic aiding the estimated 5 million head of livestock and countless stray companion animals affected by the disaster.

The clinic is stocked with food, antibiotics and other relief supplies needed to assist the displaced animals.

One of the most daunting tasks facing the team of caregivers will be administering rabies vaccinations to the Haitian dog population.

According to the WSPA, the government of Haiti believes only 100,000 of 500,000 Haitian dogs have been vaccinated against rabies.

The government also lacks proper supplies of vaccines needed for its livestock population including medicines to prevent anthrax and pig cholera.

Dr. Michael Chancy, Haiti’s Minister of Animal Production, told the WSPA, “We are now at high risk of disease, which is why it is so important to start a vaccination campaign as soon as possible.”

The coalition hopes that relief efforts will eventually lead to an improved ongoing system to prevent spread of disease in the future.

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