Lincolnshire LRF Wins Community Animal Welfare Innovator Award
Lincolnshire Local Resilience Forum - WINNER
Lincolnshire Local Resilience Forum (LRF) is proof that persistence pays off. Having heard positive words from the CAWF judging panel about its 2010 flood planning entry, the forum heeded the judges’ advice about returning once the plans had been put into practice and produced a winning entry that encompassed all the values the Innovator Awards aim to exemplify: multi-agency working , a model for others to follow and, of course, innovation.
The LRF identified that it had little in the way of plans to protect animals in an emergency. In Lincolnshire, which is susceptible to flooding, agriculture contributes £1 billion to the local economy and 11 percent of employment*, so the forum agreed that this issue had to be addressed.
LRF established a project group, made up of Council and emergency services and organisations involved in animal welfare and farming, to draw up clear plans for the welfare and management of animals in an emergency. The group identified the national emergency exercise ‘Watermark’ as the perfect opportunity to put the proposed response to flooding into practice.
The exercise identified a large number of issues around the identification, transportation and relocation of animals before, during and after a flood. Many of those issues have now been addressed, and others are being taken forward by the LRF. It is hoped that these will produce more good practice to share. Plans are already in place for 2012 for members of the livestock-owning community to get involved in another exercise, and to look into the mass evacuation of domestic pets.
The judges were unanimous in their opinion that the forum had made outstanding progress since its first submission in 2010. The project is one of the best examples of multi-agency working that CAWF has ever received and it is hoped that other organisations will follow this example.
* Source: Lincolnshire Research Observatory