News & Media

Grants open to Local Government to protect animal welfare in emergencies

Released on

Released on:
Wednesday, 3. May 2023 - 13:45

A grant scheme has opened to assist Local Government Authorities across the State to act quickly, effectively and confidently to support animal welfare in the event of an emergency.

The Local Government Animal Welfare in Emergencies grant program is a collaboration between the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and the Western Australian Local Government Association.

The grants enable local government authority staff across the State to participate in a tailored workshop to help their organisation to improve their preparedness and response capacity to emergencies that impact animal welfare.

In the past three years more than 65 people from 23 local government authorities in the regions and metropolitan area have attended the workshops, delivered by the Muresk Institute.

DPIRD incident and emergency management director Pamela I’Anson said local government plays a key role in emergency responses and it was important staff had the appropriate knowledge, skills and tools to support communities and businesses.

Ms I’Anson said while it was owners’ responsibility to care for livestock and companion animals in emergencies, Local Government plays an important role in coordinating animal welfare support.

“Recent cyclones, flooding and bushfires in Western Australia have highlighted the risk to animal welfare during these potentially dangerous events,” she said.

“These workshops build participants’ understanding of responsibilities and action required to protect animal welfare in the event of an emergency that impacts animal welfare.

“The sessions draw on the expertise and experience of a range of agencies, organisations and veterinary professionals and cover livestock health, handling fauna, containment and transport to manage wildlife and companion animals.

“Participants in the three day course also work on developing local plans for animal welfare in emergency based on their individual jurisdictions.”

The workshop supports the State Support Plan for Animal Welfare in Emergencies, which can be activated by DPIRD during an emergency response to provide a framework for coordination between different organisations and communities.

The grants will be announced prior to the workshops to be held in June and August.

A woman loading a brown horse on a float.
The Animal Welfare in Emergencies grants program is helping local government authorities to improve their preparedness and response capacity to emergencies that impact animal welfare.

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Megan Broad/Jodie Thomson, media liaison                        

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