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October 12, 2009

Taking Precautions for Protecting Livestock

Be prepared in the event of an emergency

The Humane Society of the United States

Take Precautions

The following is a list of suggestions we recommend to help keep your livestock safe during an emergency.

  • Make a disaster plan to protect your property, your facilities, and your animals. Create a list of emergency telephone numbers, including those of your employees, neighbors, veterinarian, state veterinarian, poison control, local animal shelter, animal care and control, county extension service, local agricultural schools, trailering resources, and local volunteers.
  • Include a contact person outside the disaster area. Make sure all this information is written down and that everyone has a copy.
  • Make sure every animal has durable and visible identification.
  • Ensure that poultry have access to high areas in which to perch, if they are in a flood-prone area, as well as to food and clean water.

Make a disaster plan to protect your property, your facilities, and your animals.

  • Reinforce your house, barn, and outbuildings with hurricane straps and other measures. Perform regular safety checks on all utilities, buildings, and facilities on your farm.
  • Use only native and deep-rooted plants and trees in landscaping (non-native plants are less durable and hardy in your climate and may become dislodged by high winds or broken by ice and snow).
  • Remove all barbed wire, and consider rerouting permanent fencing so that animals may move to high ground in a flood and to low-lying areas during high winds.
  • Install a hand pump and obtain enough large containers to water your animals for at least a week (municipal water supplies and wells are often contaminated during a disaster).
  • Identify alternate water and power sources. A generator with a safely stored supply of fuel may be essential, especially if you have electrical equipment necessary to the well being of your animals.
  • Secure or remove anything that could become blowing debris; make a habit of securing trailers, propane tanks, and other large objects. If you have boats, feed troughs, or other large containers, fill them with water before any high wind event. This prevents them from blowing around and also gives you an additional supply of water.
  • If you use heat lamps or other electrical machinery, make sure the wiring is safe and that any heat source is clear of flammable debris.
  • Label hazardous materials and place them all in the same safe area. Provide local fire and rescue and emergency management authorities with information about the location of any hazardous materials on your property.
  • Remove old buried trash—a potential source of hazardous materials during flooding that may leech into crops, feed supplies, water sources, and pasture.
  • Review and update your disaster plan, supplies, and information regularly.
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