Australian Bushfires - We need your help
13 January 2020
The recent Australian bushfires and extreme weather conditions have devastated communities in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia, resulting in loss of life, natural habitats, and landscapes. Beyond the horrific loss of life and property, the combination of drought and fires on farming and rural communities highlights the devastating impact on animal welfare and food security, with effects felt by people across the entire country. This catastrophe has highlighted to me the importance the wider veterinary profession has in dealing with a disaster that affects such a large area of land and so many people and animals.
We are aware of several members of the ANZCVS who have been significantly affected by the fires, including members who have lost their houses and farms, as well those who have lost their livelihoods. We are aware of the trauma suffered by many members and their colleagues in fire-affected areas, and aware that this trauma is likely to continue for some time.
We are appreciative and thankful to the Australian Veterinary Association, who have been proactive and supportive, providing the wider veterinary community comprehensive resources to help veterinarians affected by the fires, information on how to assist animals, quick links to government financial assistance and resources for assessing and treating animals.
The AVA has another important resource that I would like to draw your attention to. The AVA Benevolent Fund is a fund set up to assist veterinarians in hardship. With this crisis unfolding, the AVA Benevolent Fund will assist anyone in the industry, impacted by the fires, and those treating injured wildlife; through an application process, be they a member of the AVA or not.
In order to ensure communities affected by the bushfires receive assistance, we strongly encourage ANZCVS Members to donate to the AVA Benevolent Fund. Your donation will be a valuable contribution to assist the communities financially impacted by the fires as well as veterinarians doing pro-bono work to assist injured wildlife and animals. Information about the Fund can be obtained here.
In such devastating circumstances, we also acknowledge and are thankful to the firefighters, emergency personnel, police, medical professionals and veterinarians who are doing an outstanding job helping our community and wildlife, and the large army of volunteers who are supporting these people.
As always, the ANZCVS is here to support Members in these difficult times. Please contact the office on 07 3423 2016 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need assistance obtaining support.
- Dr Zoe Lenard, ANZCVS President