Louisiana's Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Advises Animal Owners to Prepare Now for Storm

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BATON ROUGE, LA -- AUGUST 24, 2012 – With Tropical Storm Isaac bearing down on the Gulf of Mexico, Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain, D.V.M., is reminding both pet and livestock owners to prepare not only themselves but also their animals. “As you prepare to take care of your family, remember to plan ahead for the proper care of your pet or livestock during a storm,” Strain said.

Tips on how to prepare livestock for a hurricane or storm:

  • Select a place on the property that is least likely to flood where livestock such as cattle and horses can quickly and easily be moved when a hurricane or other severe weather threatens the area.
  • Some owners may choose to trailer their expensive or genetically superior breeding stock and bring the animals with them during an evacuation.

“If this storm threatens Louisiana and you live in a low-lying area where flooding could be a possibility, it is imperative you make arrangements ahead of time and know where you are going with those animals,” Strain said. “You can’t show up at just any shelter with a trailer full of horses or cows. Some shelters are not set up to accommodate animals, either pets or livestock,” added Strain.

It’s important for livestock owners who plan to evacuate with a trailer of animals to leave as early as possible. Strain said now is the time to make sure livestock trailers are in good working order and ready for an unexpected road trip. Check the tire pressure and the rubber for wear, test brake and running lights, and inspect the overall condition of the trailer.

Important items to take during an evacuation include:

  • Proper identification for livestock
  • Health records (especially proof of Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) testing for horses)
  • Several days’ supply of feed
  • Water for the evacuation route
  • Special medications
  • Bridles or leads
  • Kennels or crates for smaller or domestic animals

Exotic pets, such as snakes and lizards, should be contained at all times and owners need to bring extension cords for plugging in heat rocks and lamps.

Livestock owners who run into problems with their preparations can call their local Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP) for a list of veterinarians or other assistance.

For more information on emergency preparation, visit www.LDAF.la.gov and click on the Emergency Programs icon on the right hand side of the page or go to www.petswelcome.com or www.getagameplan.org.