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17 October 2008: WSPA is working with Thailand’s Department of Livestock Development (DLD) to protect animal welfare after heavy flooding in Burirum Province. WSPA’s experienced vets have delivered seven tonnes of badly needed vitamins and minerals to the region’s cattle.
In response to prolonged flooding in North and Northeastern Thailand, WSPA’s Asia-based Disaster Assessment and Response Team (DART) worked with the Burirum Provincial DLD office to coordinate a health assessment for cattle and an audit of available feed.
Dr Pojpiruch Niamjui, Chief of Operations at Burirum Provincial Disaster Prevention and Mitigation and an experienced livestock veterinarian, warned that while flood waters were receding, “feed for cattle is in short supply as many hay reserves have been ruined. Funds allocated for emergency relief at Burirum DLD are diminishing and our hay reserves have been distributed already. Farmers are travelling long distances to seek fresh grass to feed their cattle.”
The DART's assessment found that a lack of mature grass and quality hay in the region was leaving cattle hungry, with weakened immune systems. Emergency action was needed to save both the animals and the livelihoods of local farmers.
A farmer in Burirum Province accepts a WSPA mineral block
After the assessment, DLD distributed hay reserves and WSPA provided seven tonnes of mineral blocks for local farmers.
The blocks can be used as dietary supplements for cattle, providing vitamins and minerals that help maintain immune systems.
They will also aid the animals in recovering from from the exhaustion of flood evacuation, and allow them to cope with the challenging post-flood landscape.
Dr Ian Dacre, Disaster Management Operations Director for WSPA Asia, describes the current situation: “Although the water level is dropping, problems such as water-borne contagious diseases, contaminated drinking water, and spoiled feed are still real issues.”
He concluded “The help provided by WSPA is aimed at supporting animal health and wellbeing, and reducing the risk of transmission of contagious diseases. By helping the animals we are also supporting the stability of these rural communities.”