News Release - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - January 4, 2007
National Animal Identification System Proves to be a Valuable Tool During Blizzard Recovery Operations
LAKEWOOD, Colo. – Phone calls directly to ranchers in southeast Colorado helped evaluate the safety of those ranchers’ families and the well being of Colorado livestock during the blizzard recovery operation. This process was made possible by the National Animal Identification System (NAIS).
Those with registered premises were called on Wednesday and Thursday by the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s State Veterinarian’s Office. Those phone calls helped locate animals and find out if they have had access to feed.
“Starvation and dehydration are certainly animal health concerns and we are pleased that we could utilize the system in this emergency situation,” said State Veterinarian Dr. John Maulsby.
Maulsby, who has been in southeast Colorado assisting with relief efforts, was speaking about the National Animal Identification System’s premises registration. Emergency hay drops had begun when the decision was made to use this tool in the six counties hit hardest by the storm to make contact with ranchers, ensuring they had been able to get feed to their livestock.
“Having direct access to livestock owners gave us the opportunity to quickly assess the situation,” said Colorado Division of Emergency Management Director, George Epp. “Protecting the health of Colorado livestock is a top priority to this operation and NAIS was a big help.”
Aerial surveillance crews continue to search for additional herds; meanwhile, the Colorado and Wyoming National Guard are performing hay drops to get feed to stranded livestock. So far, more than 70 tons of hay has been delivered by helicopters and a C-130 military transport plane.
Generators are being utilized to help communities without electricity to pump water. Large tankers are also being used to deliver water to necessary locations.
If livestock owners need assistance getting food and water to animals, it is recommended they call their local sheriff’s office.
More winter preparedness information may be found at: http://dola.colorado.gov/dem. Click on Winter Weather Preparedness Week. For information on road conditions in Colorado, go to: http://www.cotrip.org/.
For more information on voluntary premises identification in Colorado, log onto www.COanimalid.org or call toll free 1-877-842-0102.