25 April 2019

Zimbabwe: Emergency Aid to Animals in Cyclone Hit Areas

Chimanimani — While nearly all Cyclone Idai relief efforts have been directed at humans, a local animal rights organisation has moved to provide emergency aid to animals affected by the disaster, which ravaged parts of Manicaland province last month, causing massive death to humans and animals.

The most affected places were Chimanimani and Chipinge districts.

Voices of Domestic Animals Trust (VODAT) coordinator David Mukunda told NewZimbabwe.com recently that although the whether induced disaster impacted heavily on human lives and property, animals were not spared the trauma.

He added they have moved in to complement government efforts in ensuring animals received aid and emergency support.

"We have partnered with Mares Donkey Sanctuary and Support for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to provide food and medical relief to animals in the affected areas.

"We are trying our best to support government and communities to assist affected animals. We are trying to ensure that veterinary care is given to any animal in need," Mukunda said.

He said they were mostly offering feed to a number of animals with those in dire need of treatment having been identified.

"We were struggling to get sufficient attention on the need to look at animal welfare due to the huge number of people who died and were injured... we hope that sooner rather than later people will also mobilise and assist animals that are in distress and who are central to our lives," Mukunda said.

He said critical veterinary care includes treatment for vitamin deficiencies and dispensing antibiotics and vaccinations to prevent disease.

VODAT is calling for donations to continue essential veterinary medicines, food, water, blankets, shelter materials and transport.

According to government statistics, over 15 000 livestock which include cattle and goats was wiped out by Cyclone Idai which left almost 400 people dead and more missing.

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