IFAW Sends Relief Supplies to Earthquake Epicenter

Sunday, May 25, 2008
Beijing, China
The first shipment of relief supplies from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW; www.ifaw.org) was loaded onto the train bound for Mianyang, near the earthquake epicenter. Mianyang alone lost over three million animals in the massive earthquake that hit Sichuan, China. According to the Livestock and Veterinarian department of Mianyang city, 300,000 animals are believed to have survived the earthquake yet in need of food and water. IFAW’s first shipment contained 10 generators, 150 tents, 100 water pumps, fencing material, masks, gloves and disinfectants, valuing over US$60,000. 
“The disaster has brought tremendous sufferings to millions of lives,” said Grace Ge Gabriel, IFAW’s Asia Regional Director. “We express our deepest sympathy to the victims of the earthquake. In addition to providing supplies to aid humanitarian relief efforts, we are prepared to send in a team of experts specialized in disaster response to rescue animals and prevent the spread of disease.”
 
IFAW has provided emergency relief to areas devastated by natural disasters such as the earthquake in Kobe Japan, the Indian Ocean tsunami and Hurricane Katrina in the USA. IFAW’s assistance to rescue both people and animals includes dispatching search and rescue teams, providing medical supplies and equipment and inoculating animals to prevent the spread of disease.
           
“We are urgently sourcing vaccinations for both human and animals and will deliver them to the disaster area as quickly as possible. Effective inoculation and humane handling of animals in the disaster is a scientifically proven method to prevent disease,” added Gabriel. “For many human victims, their family animal maybe all they have left. Saving these animals is vitally important for people to get their livelihood back, to heal and to find comfort in the  months and years ahead, as Sichuan rebuilds.”
 
On the loading platform at the Beijing train station, Mianyang city representative in Beijing thanked IFAW for the timely assistance and pledged to distribute the supplies to the victims in the epicenter as soon as possible.

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