Legislation would require emergency plans for animals during disasters

Local News

A bear swims in his habitat at the Oakland Zoo on July 2, 2020, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — When disasters strike, there should be plans in place to ensure animals aren’t forgotten.

That’s why U.S. Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) and U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) have introduced legislation in Washington, D.C., to require entities regulated under the Animal Welfare Act – such as zoos, commercial animal dealers, and research facilities – to have contingency plans in place to safely evacuate and care for animals in an emergency or disaster situation.

“Sadly, through countless disasters, we’ve witnessed that if animal facilities do not have a plan in place when emergency strikes, it is already too late,” Titus said in a Friday news release announcing the bipartisan legislation.

“The safety of animals shouldn’t be an afterthought,” she said.

The Providing Responsible Emergency Plans for Animals at Risk of Emerging Disasters (PREPARED) Act is co-sponsored by more than 115 members of Congress.

“The devastation in Texas shines a spotlight on the increasing need for adequate disaster planning, and that extends to animals,” said Humane Society Legislative Fund President Sara Amundson.

“The bipartisan PREPARED Act sets a common-sense requirement for puppy mills, roadside zoos and other regulated facilities to have plans in place to care for their animals,” Amundson said.

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