||TAHC's Hurricane IKE Update for September
Animal response to Hurricane Ike continues to be a team
effort, as the issues are much larger than the resources of any one agency
or association. The TAHC statewide has worked with the livestock industry
to establish sites for emergency shelters, and with local governments,
agencies and associations to develop animal issues committees.
- The Texas Animal Health Commission continues is supporting the disaster
district committees in the affected area with persons who have animal
and livestock expertise. The agency has established a small area command
in the Austin headquarters, and is one 30+ agencies in the Governor's
Division of Emergency Management. The TAHC's Area Command can be reached
at 800-550-8242, ext 296.
- At the request of the TAHC, members of a National Veterinary Response
Team (NVRT) are now being deployed by the federal government to assist
in Texas recovery operations. Animal response teams from both Florida
and New Mexico have volunteered to provide assistance to Texas via the
Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) system and are awaiting
- A joint TAHC and USDA Veterinary Services team is working in the
Beaumont area, assessing large animal issues from the air and ground.
The scope of livestock death loss is not yet known. Another team will
be assessing the western side of the storm area, when re-entry is allowed.
- The Texas State Animal Resource Team (TXSART), supported by the Texas
Veterinary Medical Association, is working in the area with credentialed
animal care groups. A TXSART hotline for Orange and Jefferson County
has been set up at: (409) 980-7280 and (409) 838-2510.
- In several storm-ravaged counties, large numbers of cattle and horses
caught in the storm surge either died or fences are down, and animals
are loose or stranded. The TAHC is coordinating carcass disposal with
the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the National
Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Reports of dead livestock should
be made to the TAHCs Area Command Center at (800) 550-8242, ext 296.
Callers will be asked to provide the location, species of animal, approximate
number, and if, possible, the GPS coordinates of the site.
- The Texas Agrilife Extension, Texas Department of Agriculture and
livestock industry groups which have established "Operation No
Fences: Hurricane Ike Horse and Cattle Relief" to collect feed,
hay and water troughs to provide the livestock with safe feed and water.
For more information or to make a donation, call the Texas 4H Foundation
at (979) 845-1213.
- Producers who wish to donate hay or are in need of hay are encouraged
to call the Texas Department of Agriculture's Hay Hotline at 1-877-429-1998.
for more information.
- Many of the emergency animal shelters for large and small animals
remain operational, and livestock producers continue to generously volunteer
their pastures and barns for evacuees.
Early information from shelters providing reports indicate that more
550 livestock and about 1,200 small animals were provided refuge. This
does not include persons sheltering their pets in their temporary housing,
or individuals providing sheltering space. The TAHC has sourced pet cages
from Louisiana to augment the local sheltering capacity. Evacuees who
need to locate sheltering space should call 2-1-1.