As the crisis in Haiti mounts, it is clear that the country's residents have been thrust overnight into a long term nightmare. The earthquake that rocked Port-Au-Prince reduced this already poverty stricken nation to an environment in which sheer survival is the sole goal and a catastrophic loss of life will be the likely end result. Aid is steadily pouring in from across the world, but the country's infrastructure has very literally been reduced to rubble and its citizens are left with naught but open fields in which to congregate. Should anyone wish to donate money to the relief effort there are already a variety of channels open with which to do so. I picked the text message method, sending money to the Red Cross by texting "HAITI" to "90999" and having it billed to my cell phone bill.
In a time of such intense human crisis, it can seem almost indulgent to consider the animals affected by such a great disaster. But as TheHorse.com reports, veterinary aid units to care for Haiti's horses, livestock and domestic animal populations have also been mobilized and can hopefully work to prevent a widescale die out of Haiti's livestock. This is in truth not an issue entirely about animal welfare - of course saving animals from suffering is a worthy goal in itself, but Haiti's economy relies heavily on its agricultural base, and large loss to its animal population may well impact the income reaped from its agribusiness. So while Haiti's horses and livestock might be a relatively low level concern at this stage of the tragedy, neglecting them could have far reaching implications against Haiti's capacity to eventually restore and rebuild. On that note, I send my hopes and best wishes to everyone working to assist the Haitians as they try to move through this devastating time.