Bushfires in all affected states have been extinguished, but there is an ongoing need to provide veterinary care to large numbers of affected animals, especially wildlife, according to Australia-based international animal charity, Vets Beyond Borders (VBB).
VBB’s Australian Veterinary Emergency Response Team (AVERT) continues to assist government authorities and wildlife rescue groups with providing care to animals impacted by the fires, and is continuing to receive calls for help, says VBB Director Dr Ian Douglas.
South Australia’s Adelaide Koala Rescue (AKR) has on any day an average of 60 – 70 koalas in their care and relies on volunteer veterinarians and nurses for help, says AKR Director Jane Brister. “Deployment of volunteers around Australia and abroad became challenging as measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 were implemented around the world, with restrictions increasing by the day,” says Dr Douglas.
On March 12, Vets Beyond Borders suspended volunteer deployment to all its partner organisations around the world, in effect until further notice. When Australian state borders closed on March 24, interstate deployment of VBB AVERT volunteers was immediately discontinued.
“We are adhering to the Australian Government’s travel restrictions and quarantine requirements and working closely with VBB AVERT volunteers who are able to work locally to provide essential veterinary attention to animals in care,” says Dr Douglas.
“As a veterinary organisation, we are cognisant of and adept at adhering to the principles of biosecurity and disease management, whilst doing all we can to provide care to animals in need. We urge all Australians to follow Governmental guidelines aimed at slowing the spread of this disease.”
VBB extends heartfelt thanks to all its volunteers, members and donors for their ongoing support in these difficult times.
About Vets Beyond Borders
Vets Beyond Borders (VBB) is an international animal charity based in Australia that is operating since 2003 to help improve the lives of animals and humans in developing communities around the world. Through its VetMatch and VetTrain programs, VBB deploys volunteer veterinarians, veterinary nurses and other animal welfare workers across the globe to deliver quality animal health and education/community awareness programs where they are much needed. Our volunteers provide much needed veterinary treatment and are actively involved in animal birth control and anti-rabies immunisation (ABC-AR) projects and efforts to humanely control the population of homeless dogs and cats by surgical sterilisation across the globe. In Australia, VBB’s AVERT (Australian Veterinary Emergency Response Team) program has volunteers standing ready to deliver prompt treatment to animals affected by natural disasters (eg bushfires, floods, cyclones) or emergency animal disease (EAD) outbreaks in Australia. For more information about our programs and how you can help, please visit our website www.vetsbeyondborders.org