Barbados Veterinary Association’s 2nd Animal Disaster Management Symposium
The Barbados Veterinary Association (BVA) hosted its second Animal Disaster Management Symposium for all animal stakeholders in the island of Barbados on Friday June 7th, 2019 at the Barbados Defence Force Headquarters, St Ann’s Fort, Garrison, St Michael.
We should be Prepared
In 2017, many of the islands in the Caribbean, particularly Dominica and Barbuda, were decimated by two Category 5 hurricanes. The regional agricultural sector was left reeling and most of the islands, almost 2 years later, are still in the recovery phase. Crops were lost, animals were either killed or left to survive on their own with no forage, feed or shelter and on some of the impacted islands had limited access to water. On the island of Barbuda, because the entire population had to be evacuated, pets were left to fend for themselves with the dogs soon forming packs that hunted any surviving livestock. It should also be noted that in the animal sector disasters include not only hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis or droughts but also disease outbreaks, such as African Swine Fever, Avian Influenza or Foot and Mouth Disease. If Barbados is impacted by a hurricane or other major disaster are the animal stakeholders in the island prepared? We believe not.
Disaster Management in Barbados
The annual symposium aims to bring all Barbadian animal stakeholders together. In this forum they can continue the conversation, get to know each other, who to contact in an emergency and the importance of utilizing climate smart technologies (e.g. housing and water harvesting) in their enterprises. The association is cognizant of the need to build capacity as it relates to natural disasters and in 2018 facilitated a Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards (LEGS) training workshop which has seen 15 participants trained in this internationally accepted methodology to assist the livestock sector, during and post disaster.
Interested parties may also contact their respective member associations, or the Barbados Veterinary Association for more information via email at [email protected].
Sponsorship for the symposium compliments Gales Agro Products, Lynch Insurance Brokers, Chickmont Foods Limited and Massy Trading’s Farm and Garden Shop.
Dr. Patricia D Bedford – President, Barbados Veterinary Association