The owner or carer of an animal is responsible for the wellbeing of that animal and should include consideration of its welfare in preparedness for, response to and recovery from an emergency they may face. Whether you are the owner or carer of livestock, horses or companion animals, the best protection is to be prepared for a range of hazards, and to plan how you will both respond to and recover from emergency situations.
The best emergency preparedness starts with identifying, prioritising, and mitigating issues to ensure protection and safety not only for your animals but also yourself. Proper planning can greatly assist owners or carers in providing for the welfare of their animals without putting at risk the safety of both themselves and emergency responders. Planning can ensure good decision-making instead of risky behaviours such as refusal to evacuate, attempts at re-entry into unsafe areas, or unsafe rescue attempts.
The nature of a particular emergency may hamper an owner or carer's ability to address animal welfare issues, and local arrangements within the community may assist. Where the emergency is of such a magnitude that any local arrangements are no longer sufficent or effective, the State Support Plan - Animal Welfare in Emergencies (interim) may be engaged.
Read further on Preparing for animal welfare before emergencies