AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT RECOMMENDS PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIVESTOCK AND HORSES FROM HURRICANES AND FLOODS
As the drought continues this hurricane season, VIDA reiterates procedures to assist farmers with proper handling and care of livestock during weather events
July 26, 2022, U.S. Virgin Islands – The Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture (VIDA) reminds livestock farmers to prepare with swift action to reduce disaster related loss and damage to their farms in the face of hurricane season. “Building on lessons learned from the hurricanes of 2017, it is critical that farmers take precautions now for the 2022 hurricane season today,” Commissioner Nelson said. “Virgin Islands farmers are resilient, yet it takes planning and preparedness in order to protect animals and property.”
FARMERS and HORSEOWNERS:
- Update your records of livestock tag numbers, census, and equipment inventories.
- Trim trees away from fences and straighten up fence posts
- Stock up on feed, and store it in sturdy, watertight containers
- Provide adequate drainage for storm water to drain away from pens and roadways
- Stock up on antiseptic sprays, iodine and hydrogen peroxide for potential wounds
- Make sure livestock are current on tetanus vaccinations
- Keep all water containers full to ensure water will be available after a storm
- Use hurricane clips and tie straps to reinforce barns, sheds, and roofs
- Purchase and store fencing supplies now to have on hand for repairs
- Identify farm dogs with a collar, telephone number, and address
As a reminder, in the event of a storm, allow animals access to pasture or open areas. Do not confine or tie animals during the storm because they can get trapped, injured, or killed in the event of building collapse or flooding. As soon as it is safe to do so, farmers and horse owners should retrieve animals and return them to their property.
VIDA’s Division of Veterinary Services assists farmers every day to protect the health of their livestock, public health, and the food supply. They are available to assist farmers to meet these recommendations and to help with other livestock health concerns.
For more information on preparing for hurricanes and floods, contact VIDA’s Division of Veterinary Services: