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Maine Launches Statewide Animal Disaster Program
June 10, 2004
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Shelley Doak Office: (207) 287-7610 Cell: (207) 446-4574
AUGUSTA — The Maine Department of Agriculture, Maine Emergency Management Agency, Maine Veterinary Medical Association and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service have partnered to launch a statewide initiative aimed at preventing and responding to animal related disasters in Maine.
The kick-off, a State Animal Emergency Management Training and Planning Summit, will be held June 14 and 15 at the Senator Inn in Augusta. Meeting participants include leadership from police, fire, public health, animal control, veterinary medicine, agriculture, equine professions, animal welfare, humane societies and shelters, and other stakeholders.
Recognizing the need to prepare for a cohesive and effective approach to animal related disaster events, including natural disasters as well as bio-terrorism and animal diseases, these key agencies have committed to an effort to establish a statewide response team.
The process is being facilitated by representatives of the North Carolina State Animal Response Team who received a $250,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to replicate its system of managing animal emergencies in other states. “The SART model was selected because of its established track record and because it is supported by the USDA,” said Shelley Doak, Director, Division of Animal Health and Industry.
The program is designed as a public-private partnership to integrate government, as well as non-profit agencies and veterinary practitioners, for unified preparation and response for animal emergencies.
More information about the NCSART may be found at www.ncsart.org or for information about the local effort contact Shelley Doak, 287-7610 or Dr. Elizabeth Stone, Maine Program Coordinator, 688-2219.
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