Animal welfare grants to boost emergency preparedness

Countryman
Western Australian Meat Industry Authority animal welfare officer Dwayne Stone turned his attention to feeding horses at the Muchea Livestock Centre, as the designated evacuation facility welcomed animals endangered by the Wooroloo bushfires in February.
Camera IconWestern Australian Meat Industry Authority animal welfare officer Dwayne Stone turned his attention to feeding horses at the Muchea Livestock Centre, as the designated evacuation facility welcomed animals endangered by the Wooroloo bushfires in February. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman, Bob Garnant

Applications are now open for emergency grants of up to $25,000 to support local governments to manage animal welfare issues that may occur during a bushfire, cyclone or severe storm.

The State Government’s Animal Welfare in Emergency Grants aim to provide $10,000 for local governments or $25,000 for collaborative proposals.

This is the second year the program has run, with 25 grants provided last year to local governments in metropolitan and regional areas for a range of resources and activities.

The provision of a dedicated training program was developed in response to feedback from last year’s grants program.

The three-day Animal Welfare in Emergencies training workshop will cover implementing a local government animal response plan, animal handling and assessments and understanding legislative responsibilities.

WA Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the Animal Welfare in Emergency Grants would build the skills and resources of local government to respond to animal welfare issues in a crucial time of need.

“The Wooroloo fires earlier this year highlighted the importance of the Animal Welfare in Emergencies State Support Plan, which helped residents to evacuate more quickly with the assurance they would get the necessary support for their animals,” she said.

“This important grants program is another example of State and local government working together to protect the lives of people and their animals during an emergency, when every second counts.”

Previous grants have funded valuable resources, including animal cages, bedding, food and water containers, as well as tarpaulins, registration tags and personal protective equipment.

Recipients have also used the grants to create or update their animal welfare in emergencies plans, run evacuation exercises to identify any potential shortfalls and initiatives to raise community awareness about the measures and support available.

To find out more, visit agric.wa.gov.au/AWEgrants.

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