Animals, disasters and marginalised groups
This briefing note highlights the gaps which need addressing in policy and practice and provides key recommendations for policy makers in relation to the role of animals for disaster recovery in society, ownership and marginalised groups. Disasters impact all in society differently. Some groups will be more severely affected because of marginalisation they experience within broader society, caused by a range of intersecting risks, vulnerabilities and historic prejudices. There has also been a growing recognition that animals (both in terms of working animals livestock etc) and assistance animals (seeing-eye dogs etc) play a significant role in allowing some in society to recover better and faster than they would without the animals.
However, in spite of some steps being taken to include animals in disaster risk reduction (DRR) there are challenges that remain unnoticed which limit its progress. Over recent years disaster planning has started to move beyond response to identify animal risk and integrate these risks in disaster policy. However, this risk needs to be context specific and with marginalised groups being among the most vulnerable to disasters (while also heavily relying on animals for support and livelihoods) there is a strong need to integrate animal risk with inclusive DRR.
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