Animal Nepal today calls on all relief agencies to include animals, especially livestock, in its rescue and relief operations. “Make sure to carry lime (chuna) whenever you go out to affected areas. Disinfecting carcasses is a priority to stop the spread of deadly diseases”, says co founder Lucia de Vries, who says supporting surviving livestock is generally regarded a priority by disaster victims.
The organisation is also coordinating media outreach to make sure communities are aware of the importance of disinfection and carcass removal now that countless animal bodies are buried under the rubble.
Although the earthquake struck at a time when most livestock were out grazing, those tethered inside barns generally lost their lives, according to De Vries. “Helping communities to make sure their remaining animals survive is crucial for long term sustainability. Veterinary aid and animal feed needs to be considered.”
Due to stress and sanitation issues livestock is vulnerable to infectious diseases such as bird and swine flue, foot and mouth disease, respiratory problems, etc. “Mass vaccinations of livestock in affected areas is recommended”, says De Vries.
Animal Nepal has three medical teams that go out each day in Lalitpur and Kathmandu district to treat sick and injured livestock.