Indonesia: Thousands of quake affected livestock in Indonesia have been treated by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in collaboration with a local NGO, the Centre for Animal Rescue and Education (CARE) in the last fortnight since the devastating tremor on May 27.
A total of 3977 cattle, 1992 sheep, 150 pigs, 125 water buffalos, 46 dogs, 46 cats as well as thousands of chickens and ducks were treated in a record time. More than 5000 people have lost their lives.
IFAW is an international partner of the Wildlife Trust of India which works to improve the welfare of the wild and domestic animals throughout the world by reducing commercial exploitation of animals, protecting wildlife habitats and assisting animals in distress.
Five mobile units have been placed to provide medical care, feed and other assistance in the devasted villages.
Jackson Zee of the IFAW Emergency Relief Team said, “This has been a terrible disaster for the people of this region and an important factor in their recovery is the welfare of their livestock they depend upon. In hundreds of cases we have come across, animals that are all some families have left with.”
“Many villages are nothing but rubble with no electricity or other basic needs. To rebuild their lives these people are relying on the animals that provide them livelihood.”
The Mount Merapi volcano which is only about 25 kilometers from the earthquake zone has been reportedly sending lava down from its 3,300 meter peak which further threatened with fatal consequences. Presently, thousands of villagers have already evacuated the area around the foot of the mountain but left large number of animals behind with a few people to take care of them.
“The volcano had a major eruption a few days ago and has continued to be much more active in the past few days. When our team visited animals sheltered inside the cordoned off zone one could hear the eruptions which are dramatic and often send lava flows up to seven kilometers down the hill.” Zee added.
Dogs and cats that can’t be looked after by the evacuees are being provided with temporary shelter by the team in Yogyakarta and re-homed with families whose homes have not been damaged.
Meanwhile, 12 new areas have been identified for relief measures, which included Bantul (epicenter of the quake), Sleman, Gunungkidul, Kulonprogo and Yogyakarta districts.
Efforts are being made to rebuild livestock enclosures and support animal owners who are earthquake victims for providing basic animal care and prevent spread of diseases.
Pix credit: IFAW