IFAW launches emergency feed programme for flood-stricken animals in Pakistan

Tuesday, August 31, 2010
(London – 31 August 2010) – The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has started a relief programme that will feed thousands of livestock and companion animals affected by the major floods that have devastated Pakistan.

IFAW has partnered with the local humanitarian group Ravi Foundation already active in the province of Punjab.

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation some 200,000 cows, sheep, buffalo, goats and donkeys have already been lost and millions more have been affected. Flooding has now displaced an additional one million people who often find no other option but to leave livestock and companion animals behind.

The now abandoned animals are a chief source of livelihood for Pakistan’s rural population. Millions of flood victims are entirely dependent on the upcoming harvest season and the vital role of animals to help plough the land.

Dr Dick Green, IFAW Manager for Disasters, said: “With more than four million people homeless, we know that there are hundreds of thousands of animals affected. This programme will focus on getting feed to the most severely affected areas as quickly as possible.”

In the first stage of the operation IFAW is sourcing 230 tonnes of wheat straw, wheat bran and pallet feed to substitute Pakistan’s traditional animal feed of standing crops and forage that has been washed away by the floods. The first feeding operation will target five union councils in the Layyah District of Southern Punjab.

Ashfaq Fateh, Ravi Foundation Animal Feed Programme lead, said: “Since the flash floods began, we have made assessments in different areas in Southern Punjab. We observed that livestock and companion animals were neglected in the relief operations. The government vaccinated a number of affected animals, however, there is an acute shortage of drinking water and feed.”

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