Posted: Sat 16th Apr 2016

RSPCA Cymru Animal Rescue Team Take Part In Real-Life Scenarios For #Expolygon /
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Apr 16th, 2016

A specially trained RSPCA flood rescue team have taken part in real-life flooding scenarios in Newport and Cardiff. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Exercise Polygon, which was the largest multi-agency exercise of its kind in Wales this year, aimed to test the agencies in Wales’s capability to respond and manage a major flooding event. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Fifteen emergency services and agencies took part in the exercise – all members of the All Wales Flooding & Inland Water Rescue Group – including RSPCA Cymru, fire and rescue services, police, ambulance, mountain rescue and the RNLI, among many others. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

RSPCA Cymru mobilised a specialist animal rescue team, who took part in two scenarios yesterday (13 April). ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The first scenario took place at the River Usk, where a horse and a rider had become trapped on the mud bank. The exercise involved a ‘dummy’ horse and rider who were moved to safety by a team from the South Wales Fire & Rescue Service and the RSPCA animal rescue team. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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The second scenario at the Cardiff International White Water Centre also involved the RSPCA team with mountain rescue where a dog was rescued from the water. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

RSPCA inspector Phil Lewis, who lead the RSPCA team, said: “The exercise was a great way to use our training on real-life scenarios and to develop partnership working with several different agencies. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Our key messages in the likelihood of a flooding emergency is to be prepared, as the impact on flooding on pets, livestock and other animals can be devastating. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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“There’s so much owners can do to prepare in case of flooding and help ensure the safety of animals in an emergency situation. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“For pet owners these include making sure you have suitable carriers for small animals, get your pets microchipped – and keep details up-to-date. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“For people with livestock they need to check any extra gates you need for emergency access are fitted and attach your details on field gates and to ensure stocks of emergency feed and fresh water supplies.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

If you have an animal emergency please call the RSPCA’s 24-hour help and cruelty line 0300 1234 999. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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Further advice on how to plan for flooding
THINK AHEAD – Plan escape routes – think about how you could exit your property in a flooding situation.
• Make sure you have suitable carriers for small animals
• Keep a supply of food and any necessary medication for evacuation
• Get your pets microchipped – and keep details up-to-date
• Ensure vaccinations are up-to-date
• Check any extra gates you need for emergency access are fitted and attach your details on field gates
• Ensure stocks of emergency feed and fresh water supplies ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

ACT QUICKLY – Flood warnings can be checked on the Natural Resources Wales website – Should a warning occur, it is vital to remember that floodwater rises rapidly – so it is best to act early.
• Bring all small animals inside and, if possible, upstairs
• Move food, bedding and fresh water somewhere dry
• Keep favourite toys safe – they may offer comfort to distressed pets
• Put important documents, namely microchip numbers, vet and vaccination details and a photograph of your pet in a sealed bag.
• Move livestock to higher ground as early as possible ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

IF DISASTER STRIKES – Put your flood plan for your animals into action.
• Small animals must be transported in suitable carriers, birds in a secure cage and dogs using sturdy leashes
• Take your animals’ food, water, bowls and bedding with you
• If you have to leave your animals behind, leave them inside an upstairs room with plenty of food and water. Leave notices on the outside doors to say there are animals inside and contact the RSPCA or your local Flood Warden immediately
• If you haven’t already, move livestock to high ground if the escape route is accessible. Ensure emergency feed and fresh water supplies ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Spotted something? Got a story? Email News@News.Wales

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