Natural disasters and “One - Health”- Are we prepared?

(04.05.2015) The impact of animals and environment during natural disasters: a critical factor for the safety and wellbeing of people Natural disasters, like floods, earthquakes or extreme climate outbreaks, severely challenge the health and welfare of people, animals and the ecosystem.

Saving people’s lives is the main priority in that case. Nevertheless, when it comes to efficient preparedness and successful management of such an emergency, there are many aspects to consider.

People reluctant to leave their farms or their pets can put in danger themselves and others and impede the work of rescue teams. Carcasses in the countryside can be a source of infection, spread of diseases and contamination of water, food and feed. Destruction of the whole regional ecosystem delays recovery after the crisis.

Therefore it is evident that “civil protection mechanisms should consider human-animal-ecosystem interactions in order to enhance preparedness and ensure successful response and quick recovery. A clear gap in preparedness and management of such crisis has been identified by the participants at the conference.”

The conference was organised in Brussels on 16 and 17 April 2015 by the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe in association with the Latvian Presidency of the European Union and the support of the European Commission.

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the World Veterinary Association (WVA), the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the Committee of Regions of the European Union and Latvian Veterinary Association also supported this event.

Link: Conclusions from the conference

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