The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Michael Booth (IFAW- U.S.)

Namrata Chowdhary (WSPA - U.K.)

Animal Groups Pledge $1.1M Dollars for Long-Term


Today, the Animal Relief Coalition for
Haiti (ARCH) announced a $1.1 million-dollar agreement with the Haitian
government aimed at improving animal welfare conditions and repairing
the country's damaged veterinary capacity in the aftermath of the
devastating earthquake of January 12. The coalition was formed by more
than 20 of the world's leading animal welfare groups and is jointly led
by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and the
International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

goal is to reach millions of animals in need and have a long-lasting
impact for the people of Haiti," said Ian Robinson, IFAW's Director of
Emergency Relief. "Cooperating as a group of NGOs gives us a unique
opportunity to address public and animal health concerns, across the
entire country."

"This operation will be implemented in close cooperation with the
Haitian Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of the Environment, and the
Ministry of Health," said James Sawyer, WSPA's Head of Disaster
Management. "The results will help an untold number of animals and
countless people recover from the disaster and will build resilience to
better protect against future disasters."

The ambitious program of work outlined in the agreement includes:

  • An epidemiology network: Assist the government in protecting
    people and animals from disease outbreaks. A laboratory and lab workers
    will be provided to do things such as carry out targeted vaccination
    campaigns for Rabies, Anthrax and other diseases.
  • Training of Haitian veterinarians and veterinary health workers; the
    goal is to train a minimum of 200 animal health workers to address
    current and future animal welfare problems.
  • Restoration of the 'cold chain' to allow for effective vaccination
    campaigns: Haiti had embarked on several ambitious vaccination programs
    prior to the earthquake. It is now vital to rebuild the infrastructure
    to keep vaccinations cold up through delivery.
  • Animal population studies: Haiti's animal demographics have changed
    dramatically as the result of recent disasters. Accurate, updated
    survey data will inform coalition work.

The coalition also announced the arrival of a fully-equipped
veterinary mobile clinic to Port-au-Prince. The donated unit will
support ARCH's animal rescue efforts that have already treated over
4,000 animals including dogs, cats, goats, cattle, horses, and other

Coalition members arrived in Port-au-Prince days after the
7.0-magnitude earthquake shook the Haitian capital to provide immediate
medical aid to the stricken animals. Teams continue to treat injured
and sick animals with medications including antibiotics and de-worming
medicine, they are also providing anthrax and rabies vaccinations for
thousands of animals. According to the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture,
there is an estimated 5 million heads of livestock in Haiti (not
including poultry), and approximately 500,000 dogs living in the
capital city of Port-au-Prince.

About ARCH (Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti)

Animal welfare organizations formed the Animal Relief Coalition for
Haiti (ARCH) so that we could work together to bring aid to as many
animals, and in as short a time, as possible. At present, ARCH partners
include: International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), World Society
for Protection of Animals (WSPA), American Humane Association, Best
Friends Animal Society, Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals (RSPCA), In Defense of Animals, American Veterinary Medical
Association, American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF), Antigua and
Barbuda Humane Society, ASPCA, United Animal Nations, Kinship
Circle, One Voice, Swiss Animal Protection, Palo Alto Humane Society
(PAHS), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Finnish
Federation for Animal Welfare Associations, Animal Medical Care
Foundation (AMCF), Foundation, Mayhew International, and
Last Chance for Animals.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare works to improve animal welfare, prevent animal cruelty and abuse, protect wildlife and provide animal rescue around the world. From stopping the elephant ivory trade, to ending the Canadian seal hunt and saving the whales from extinction, IFAW works to create solutions that benefit both animals and people.