June 12, 2015
It is vital that animals are adequately considered within the emergency planning process of local resilience forums and Local Authorities.
47 percent of households in Wales own at least one animal, and many will not leave premises in an emergency situation without knowledge of what will happen to their pets. Even larger collections of animals, such as pet shows, zoos, puppy breeders or animal sanctuaries, face challenges when planning responses to emergency situations.
Clear, effective policies covering animals and their welfare in emergency situations; and information for pet owners promoting preparedness are key steps that can be taken by contingency planners.
Working with animal welfare organisations in contingency exercises and planning meetings, as well as undertaking proactive education within communities, can play a key role in ensuring a locality is resilient to the threat emergency situations pose to animals.
Many authorities across Wales are undertaking excellent work in relation to animals and contingency planners, and some of these are achievements are celebrated via the Community Animal Welfare Enhancement scheme.
Fire & Rescue Authorities’ Duties in Flooding Incidents:
The Welsh Government carried out a consultation in November 2016 on the proposal to extend Fire and Rescue Authorities’ (FRAs) duties to include flooding and water rescue incidents, as there was no existing statutory duty for flooding or other water-related incidents.
RSPCA Cymru responded to the consultation highlighting the charity’s skills and resources in rescuing animals and humans in flooding events. The consultation response also suggested that the Welsh Government should make it a requirement for FRAs to rescue humans and animals to avoid confusion and delay in a rescue situation. The full response can be read here.