New Plan To Protect Animals in Emergencies

The Andrews Labor Government today launched a new Emergency Animal Welfare Plan to protect animals during natural disasters.

Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford launched the Plan with Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley and Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Charles Milne at the State Control Centre in Melbourne ahead of the upcoming fire season.

Developed in line with Victoria’s emergency framework, the new updated plan outlines how the community and emergency services can work together to better manage animal welfare before, during and immediately after emergencies such as fires, floods and extreme weather events.

It covers all animals, including wildlife, and sets out the particular roles and responsibilities for animal owners, farmers, breeders, businesses, the community, government organisations and Victoria’s emergency services to ensure the welfare of all animals during an emergency.

The plan also incorporates the 2009 Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission’s recommendation to include more consideration of the bond between humans and animals in its planning to enhance public safety and reduce animal suffering in emergency situations.

Animals play an important role in emergencies. People will often not leave their properties without their animals or without knowing their animals are safe, putting themselves at risk.

Knowing your animals are safe can make all the difference during an emergency. For more information please visit

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford

“Keeping animals safe is important and helps keep our families safe as well – we have made this plan to specifically make sure our animals are looked after during times of high stress and danger.”

“Last financial year Victoria made $7.3 billion in export earnings from animal production, including meat, dairy and fibre – this plan will help protect those important industries during times of emergency.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino

“This plan will help the community and emergency services work together to better manage animal welfare in an emergency situations such as floods, fire or extreme weather events.”

Quote attributable to Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley

“The welfare of animals is a massive driver of decision-making in a bushfire situation, so it is vital that you are prepared and have a plan for your animals – just as you would for your family.”

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