Wednesday, 03 September 2008 12:49

KZN fires - NSPCA emergency response

Disaster response teams of qualified personnel are working in the worst-hit areas ravaged by fires in KwaZulu-Natal, specifically the Malmouth and Nklanda districts.

NSPCA Society Liaison Officer for KwaZulu-Natal, Dudu Moodley described the situation as vast areas of devastation. "We are shocked at the devastation the fires have caused and our hearts go out to individuals affected by them, in terms of possessions and dwellings but most of all to those who have lost loved ones or whose friends and family have been hurt."

"Our aim is to render assistance to animals. We have been going door to door. We also distribute food and report excellent co-operation from local residents plus community leaders and councillors."
"Farm animals fleeing a fire will run into a fence at some point. The injured and burnt animals need to be found and assisted. Animals in captivity need to be checked. This could be chickens in coops, tethered animals or those in kraals, dogs that may have been chained - even birds."

The NSPCA has sourced additional personnel and confirms that there are 5 operational emergency relief teams in the fire-affected areas.

Long-term effects will be felt as the uninjured animals now face the crisis of sourcing food. Huge areas have been destroyed by fires and this means that there is no available grazing.

The NSPCA is unable to give actual numbers of animals killed, injured or requiring assistance. Our immediate focus is assistance and relief. Reports from on-the-scene personnel advise that it is difficult to describe the seriousness, the enormity and the long-term implications of what has happened.

Staff remaining at SPCAs in KwaZulu-Natal and at the NSPCA to "hold the fort" during these emergency operations wish to express their gratitude to colleagues who responded swiftly, packing only essentials and setting off to work in dreadful conditions to do what best they can to help animals.

The NSPCA would be grateful for financial assistance to cover the cost of the emergency response and also to pay for fodder for animals in the aftermath of the fires.