IFAW helping dogs and livestock after massive Mexican floods

Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Yarmouth Port, Mass
Floods in the Mexican state of Tabasco have affected one million people, forced seventy thousand refugees into evacuation centers, caused thirteen human deaths, and left tens of thousands of animals trapped by flood waters. News reports describe crops of corn, bananas and beans destroyed and the decaying corpses of cows, pigs and chickens lining fields. Thousands of homes are damaged or destroyed and water supplies to villages are polluted. Tragedy has hit people and animals alike following one of the largest disasters in Mexico’s history.
In the wake of the floods, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW - www.ifaw.org)  has implemented an emergency plan to assist animals, which in many cases, are all that people of Tabasco have left. Help is being sent to three of the most affected municipalities: Centro, Jalpa, and Nacajuca. IFAW’s emergency plan is focused on veterinary care for farm and companion animals, as well as food distribution for both. Assistance through food, medical attention, and preventive medicine is being given to animals that are with their owners in refuges. Provisions are also being sent out to animals that remain trapped by floodwaters. Currently, the biggest challenge is to reach farm animals and cattle still trapped in inaccessible rural areas before it is too late.
“The coordination with local authorities and other groups has been fundamental for the instrumentation of the emergency program. In particular the support received from the Government of the State of Tabasco, the Pro-Animal Committee, the Veterinary School of Tabasco, the Association for the Protection of Animals of Tabasco (APAT), the Best Friends organization, the Luca Foundation, and the coalition of the Haghenbeck Foundation, World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), Association for the Protection of Animals (ASPA), International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH), Donkey Sanctuary of Mexico, and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM),” said Beatriz Bugeda, Director for Latin America.
“Mobile clinics have been a key instrument to assist the needs expressed by the community, who request medical attention for their animals that haven’t been evacuated,” comments Horacio Chavira, one of the Coordinators of the Coalition.
To get more involved in helping the animals of Tabasco visit www.ifaw.org.

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Cora Bailey
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