By Don Molino, The Voice of Louisiana Agriculture Radio Network
During his report on the Voice of Louisiana Agriculture Radio Network, Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Dr. Mike Strain pointed out his office is responsible to oversee and coordinate the evacuation of animals and livestock during emergencies, such as floods or hurricanes.
And House Bill 251 by Representative Clay Schexnayder (R-Gonzales) would allow Strain’s department more leeway in helping rescue animals in the future.
During and after the 2016 floods, Strain said the so-called “Mega-Shelter” south of Alexandria was not used for animals affected by the floodwaters but rather they were mostly sheltered in-place. But after the emergency had passed there were some animals whose owners could not be found.
“House bill 251 says after 30 days of a declared emergency if owners cannot be found ,after all reasonable attempts have been made, then our departmentcan find new homes for those animals,” said Strain.
“The reason we put the 30 days in is because it’s the national standard and the law in this case was silent. In most shelters it’s ten days,” according to the commissioner.