An animal disaster relief team from the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) is currently en route to Kabul in a mercy mission for the animal victims of the conflict in Afghanistan. This initial assessment team is comprised of Gerardo Huertas and John Walsh, two of WSPAs most experienced staff in dealing with animals in disasters.
The team is now in Kabul where one of its first priorities will be to address the problems of the animals at Kabul Zoo, as well as undertaking an assessment of the wider problems facing animals in Afghanistan. The team is equipped to handle animal first aid, which could include treating wounds and starving and dehydrated animals.
A second WSPA team is due to follow the assessment team to Kabul next week. This team will comprise three WSPA staff, including a vet with extensive experience of treating animals in the aftermath of disasters. Depending on the magnitude of the problem there may be further visits by subsequent teams.
WSPA has already established a regular supply of food to all the animals in Kabul Zoo. However as an expert in the field of disaster relief WSPA is aware that the animal suffering in Afghanistan is likely to extend outside the zoo to livestock, draught animals and stray dogs.
John Walsh, WSPA international projects direct, said, The current crisis in Afghanistan has become a terrible tragedy for the people of the region and their animals. In situations like,WPSA is committed to doing all it can to alleviate their suffering now.
One of the worlds largest animal protection charities, with over 400 member societies in more than 90 counties, WSPA is the only animal welfare organisation to have consultative status at the United Nations and the Council of Europe.