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Solomons animals 'forgotten victims' of tsunami

Thursday February 14, 2013 - 22:30 EDT

An animal welfare group looking after animals affected by the Solomon Islands tsunami says they are too often neglected in the aftermath of disasters.

A team from World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) is visiting villages hit by last Wednesday's tsunami, conducting a survey of missing and injured animals.

Scott Cantin, WSPA's disaster management communications manager, has told Radio Australia's the welfare of animals and people in the aftermath of natural disasters is intertwined.

"Knowing that this is largely an agricultural and subsistence community, we knew there would be an animal impact too," he said.

"So it's livestock mainly that we're looking at, pigs and chickens specifically."

Mr Cantin says animals are often the forgotten victims of disasters and saving them ensures people have a solid foundation from which to rebuild their health and livelihoods.

"Generally speaking, animals experience disasters the same way that people do, they get sick, they get injured, they need food, water and shelter," he said.

"People depend on their animals."

"If you help the people and neglect the animals, the recovery of the community as a whole actually can't happen or happens in such a way that people are left without resources."


© ABC 2013

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