8 Sep 2014

Pacific urged to include animals in disaster planning

1:05 pm on 8 September 2014

An animal welfare expert is encouraging Pacific nations to include animals in their disaster management plans.

Dr Wayne Ricketts from World Animal Protection says many animals in coastal areas are either tied up or in enclosures and can perish during disasters.

Dr Ricketts says it's important that animals are looked after.

"Many people in the Pacific area are very reliant on their production animals, their livestock, for their livelihood. For food security, for transport, draught animals. At the end of the day, animals are important. If they lose those animals, very expensive to replace and can place their owners in a very perilous situation."

Dr Ricketts says setting up early warning systems for disasters to help people prepare and identifying suitable evacuation areas for livestock are essential steps.

The scene in Samoa a year ago.

The scene in Samoa a year ago. Photo: SUPPLIED