Receding flood waters pose dangers to animals, say vets

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) says that animals in flood-stricken areas are at risk from disease as waters recede.

The BVA said that water may have been contaminated by sewage, chemicals and other waste and that owners must remain vigilant. It has even suggested selling animals while conditions are poor.
BVA president and vet Robin Hargreaves said: The terrible flooding has devastated many areas and it will be a huge relief for residents to see the waters subside. Unfortunately, the challenges for animal owners remain, as contaminated water continues to pose a threat to pets and livestock.

Farmers need to consider the risks posed by contamination both to drinking water and feed for their livestock. Both silage and forage may have been contaminated by chemicals or waste and should not be fed to animals if they show signs of spoilage or mould. If alternative water or feed is not available, it may be best to consider selling animals and reinvesting when conditions improve.

For more information and advice from vets on animal welfare issues visit the BVA website at www.bva.co.uk/news

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