Animal emergency management in South Australia: a case study of the Sampson Flat bushfire

Megan McCarthy, Melanie Taylor

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Incorporating animals into emergency management is complex and involves many stakeholders who may not be core members of the emergency management system. This presents challenges as individuals and groups with veterinary and animal rescue knowledge are called upon, or offer, their assistance during emergency events. This paper uses a case study of the animal emergency management response during bushfires at Sampson Flat in South Australia in January 2015. South Australia incorporates animal welfare into emergency management planning and response arrangements. This case study draws on in-depth interviews with people directly involved in animal care during the bushfire response and examines their contributions and the successes and challenges involved in the response. The interviews revealed that the overall response was considered a success, especially in the areas of cooperation and coordination among the groups involved and the positive outcomes for animal welfare. The challenges identified related to communication, engaging with volunteers and staffing the response. This paper offers an example of best practice for animal welfare in emergency management. The challenges, and the responses to them, show the importance of flexibility, cooperation and learning from experience.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)60-65
    Number of pages6
    JournalAustralian Journal of Emergency Management
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


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