This is my report from the Animal Transportation Association sponsored webinar on July 8, 2013, with Dr. Jeleen Briscoe from USDA APHIS Animal Care Emergency Programs. She was speaking on the final rule requiring contingency plans for regulated transport of animals that are covered by USDA.

While most horses don’t fall into this category, there are some that do and there are many businesses (veterinary, transportation, show management, boarding facilities, breeding farms, etc.) that house and transport horses that would benefit from following these suggestions.

Since all types of facilities and transportation can be affected by emergencies and disasters, an All Hazard emergency response plan is highly suggested for any facility.

For certain USDA-APHIS-regulated facilities and animals such as circuses, zoos, research facilities, etc. those affected are now required to develop a contingency plan for disasters and emergencies.

The APHIS Definition of a Contingency Plan (CP) is “A plan to improve animal welfare by responding to and recovering from emergencies,” also called an “Emergency Plan” by some people. Derived out of Hurricane Katrina lessons learned Ð for regulated animals like the zoos and aquariums that were evacuated (or not) Ð we all learned that proper planning benefits animal welfare and is a collaborative process. 

Simply put, a CP means that there should be a plan for ensuring that animals have water, shelter, food, and protection from harm or euthanasia in the event of disaster. Can you do that in your barn, clinic, or animal handling facility? Does every employee know what to do?