Disaster management

Emergency livestock food and medicine is delivered after flooding, Bangladesh

Animals are often the forgotten victims of disasters. Surviving animals suffer the effects of flood, drought and other emergency situations.

In addition, many of the world’s poorest communities are totally reliant on animals for food, transport and their livelihoods. Domestic animals also provide valued companionship the world over, especially at times of distress.

By helping animals at risk of or affected by disasters we reduce their suffering and help whole communities prepare and recover. And by understanding that people living in disaster-stricken rural communities are more often than not co-dependent on the animals they own, we can see why animals matter in a disaster.

Risk reduction

WSPA works with governments and local animal welfare groups to help prepare communities in disaster-prone areas.

We set up national warning systems and show people how to prepare for disasters. This includes:

  • Adequate storage and protection of food and water.
  • Identifying animals so they can easily be reunited with their owners. 
  • Methods for removing animals safely. 
  • Strengthening and securing animal shelters. 
  • Vaccination programmes.

Rapid response

A WSPA vehicle distributes hay for livestock after flooding, Argentina

A WSPA vehicle distributes hay for livestock after flooding, Argentina

© WSPA

When disaster strikes, WSPA’s staff can be there within days through our global network of disaster response teams. Our local partners help get relief programmes up and running quickly.

WSPA provides emergency veterinary care through static and mobile clinics, feeds hungry animals and reunites animals with their owner wherever possible.

WSPA has been doing relief work in disaster-struck areas for more than four decades.

Read more about two of our recent interventions, in the wake of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar and the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

WSPA's rehabilitation work

WSPA aims to get living conditions back to normal – or improve them – for all affected animals. Restoring veterinary care is crucial.

In the aftermath of an emergency situation, WSPA will put in place preparation plans to minimise the impact of future disasters in the area. These can and do then become models for preparation work elsewhere.

Support us

We never know when a disaster will strike, but we do all we can to prepare and protect vulnerable animals and respond when the worst happens. To support WSPA's disaster management and risk reduction work, please make a gift.

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