Baton Rouge, LA (August 23, 2020) – Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said livestock and pet owners should make preparations ahead of possible severe weather and flooding caused by tropical systems Laura and Marco and be prepared to evacuate if necessary.
“While the track of these storms remains somewhat uncertain, forecasters say the main threat is heavy rainfall and coastal flooding due to storm surge,” Strain said. “Citizens should be prepared for an extended period of severe weather with little or no window between storms. Livestock and pet owners should be ready to evacuate if necessary.”
· Get cattle to the highest ground on your property that can allow access to trailers and vehicles if animals need to be moved.
· Valuable breeding stock should be identified and moved in accordance with the owner’s evacuation plan. Those animals should be kept closer to the homestead for easier transport.
· If a large group of cattle is to be moved, it is important that each herd member is properly identified with brands, microchips or ear tags. Identify the ultimate evacuation location for livestock. Proper identification for livestock is crucial in the event of commingling. Check trailer tail lights and tires.
· If you shelter in place, be sure to have at least a five day supply of water and hay for cattle.
· Plan to carry at least five days of food for your animals on livestock transports, especially if the animals require a specially-formulated diet.
· Horses must have a permanent identification, like a microchip, brand or lip tattoo.
· Horse owners should bring all identification papers if evacuation is necessary along with a copy of the horse’s current Coggins test record.
· Horse owners should also carry recent photographs of their horses (including identifying marks).
“Pet owners, if you do need to evacuate with your family, leaving your pet at home alone places your animal in great danger,” Strain said. “If you leave your pets behind, they may be lost or injured. To prevent situations where you are separated from your pet during an emergency, I urge you to take your pet with you.”
· Identify pet boarding facilities in the area where you plan to evacuate.
· Locate pet-friendly hotels along your evacuation route and keep a list in your pet’s emergency kit. Here are several resources: www.petswelcome.com, www.travelpets.com, www.dogfriendly.com, or www.pettravel.com.
· Bring pet health records, food, water and bowls, special medications, pet carriers and leashes.
It is against the law to leave a dog or cat tied or tethered outdoors in extreme weather during a declared emergency (RS 3:2362).
Livestock or pet owners should monitor their local parish Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP), animal shelter or animal control office to get advice and information.