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Horse Owners Encouraged to Have Evacuation Plan

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BATON ROUGE, LA - 9/29/06 - The Louisiana State Animal Response Team (LSART) is encouraging horse owners to have a disaster plan their animals.

BATON ROUGE, LA - 9/29/06 - The Louisiana State Animal Response Team (LSART) is encouraging horse owners to have a disaster plan their animals. Lessons learned from prior hurricanes led the group to develop response plansfor the state's agricultural industries.

“These plans work best when owners of animals are aware of the resources available to them and take proactive measures to ensuring the safety of their animals prior to a disaster,” said Dr. Becky McConnico, associate professorat LSU's School of Veterinary Medicine and LSART Equine Branch Supervisor/Leader.

Horse owners should:

1. Establish an evacuation location for horses in the event of a fire, hurricane, flood, etc.

2.  Establish the means to transport horses to the predetermined location.

3. Have current Coggins tests for all horses with the Coggins paper in an accessible location.

4. Have a 10-day supply of hay and water for horses available if a shelter-in-place is chosen.

5. Create a phone list of important local and regional numbers regarding evacuation.

“Owners should not expect anyone other than themselves to be responsible for taking care of their animals in the event of a disaster,” said Dr. McConnico. “In the event of a disaster, the point of contact for the horse-owning public is the emergency operations center in the parish or region which is usually the sheriff's office and includes the animal control officer.”

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