WSPA Rescue Team en-route to Kabul

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 WSPA's most experienced staff in dealing with animals in disasters.

An example of the poor conditions of the zoo
The team is due to fly to Kabul from Islamabad on a UN WFP flight this Saturday 12th January. 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.

Marjan the Lion
John Walsh, WSPA international projects director, said, "The current crisis in Afghanistan has become a terrible tragedy for the people of the region and their animals. In situations like this, WSPA has a track record in working to address the problems facing the livestock and pet animal populations. During the previous conflict in Afghanistan, a WSPA team visited the Kabul zoo and provided medical treatment for the animals there. WSPA is committed to doing all it can to alleviate their suffering now."

One of the world's largest animal protection charities, with over 400 member societies in more than 90 countries, WSPA is the only animal welfare organisation to have consultative status at the United Nations and the Council of Europe.
For more information please visit the WSPA website.

Source: WSPA
Dated: 11 January 2002

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