Avon and Somerset LRF Evacuation and Shelter Plans Receive Awards (13th October 2009)

The evacuation and shelter planning that has been carried out by the Somerset Local Authorities Civil Contingencies Partnership on behalf of the LRF has been awarded two national RSPCA awards. Barbara Sharratt who leads for the LRF on this area of work has picked up the Innovator Award for innovation in animal welfare and the Gold Footprint Award which is awarded for contingency planning.

Evacuation and shelter planning is carried out to ensure that in an incident, such as flooding, that requires people to leave their homes, there is a plan in place that shows where people will be asked to go, how they can be transported and sheltered and arrangements made for feeding etc. All too often in this type of planning arrangements for animals can be forgotten or ignored. It is a fact that people being evacuated will often refuse to leave their pets. If they are forced to go without them they will go back and put themselves and others at risk. It is therefore important that planning takes account of animals as well as humans.

Within Avon and Somerset multi agency consultation has taken place to consider this problem and various solutions have been identified, this has included working with the NFU and vets. The plans include facilities for animals at shelters and also identify locations that animals can be taken to to be looked after. Information about these plans has also been made available to the public through websites and leaflets at vet surgeries and through parish councils.

The hard work of Barbara and the others who have assisted her with this problem area of evacuation and shelter have been recognised with these two awards.

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