Contact: Lynne Richmond
(TRENTON) – Working together and learning from others’ experiences will be the focus at the New Jersey Animal Emergency Working Group (AEWG) 11th Annual Symposium on Monday, February 25, 2008 in Westampton, Burlington County, New Jersey.
The daylong seminar will discuss how County Animal Response Teams can join forces and collaborate, as well as how they can obtain funding from the state and federal governments to support their efforts.
Another highlight of the symposium will be a training exercise on animal emergency sheltering.
The New Jersey Department of Agriculture, under the auspices of AEWG develops and coordinates plans to protect animals during emergency situations. It oversees state and county animal response teams that work in the field during disasters and emergencies. The AEWG operates under the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Division of Animal Health and the New Jersey State Police Office of Emergency Management.
While these educational preparedness meetings have been held annually for the past 10 years, the floods from Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and Mississippi in 2005 brought to light the emphasis to address the needs of animals in disasters. New Jersey has more than 1.5 million farm animals, mostly horses, cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs. There also are nearly 7 million chickens and other poultry in New Jersey. In addition, it is estimated that there are 1.64 million dogs and 1.82 million cats owned throughout this state.
Animal control officers, police and firefighters, county emergency planners, animal response volunteers, veterinary-related personnel and others with an interest in assisting animals during emergency situations will be in attendance at the symposium.
For more information or to register for the symposium contact Debra Moscatiello in the New Jersey Department of Agriculture at (609) 984-4389 or visit www.nj.gov/agriculture/news/events/08AEWGRegistration.doc.
For information on the County Animal Response Teams, visit www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/ah/prog/cartsart.html.