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LDAF issues livestock evacuation update

August 29, 2008

Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. said all livestock owners in coastal areas should consider the threat of Hurricane Gustav and decide if they need to execute their large animal emergency plans.

"If you are planning on moving livestock do it before contra flow plans are implemented," Strain said. "Livestock owners with critical needs are advised to call their local Office of Emergency Preparedness or LSU AgCenter county agent."
Livestock owners should have already assessed their evacuation and shelter in place plans but are advised to make immediate emergency preparations now.
  • Get cattle to the highest ground on your property that can allow access to trailers and vehicles if animals need to be moved.
  • Valuable breeding stock should be identified and moved in accordance with owner’s evacuation plan. Those animals should be kept closer to the homestead for easier transport.
  • Ideally, cattle and equine trailers should be in good working order. Check your tail lights and tires and repair or replace them if necessary and possible.
  • If you shelter in place, leave a three to five day supply of water and hay for their cattle.
  • If a large group of cattle is to be moved, it’s important that each herd member is properly identified with brands, microchips or ear tags. Identify the ultimate evacuation location for livestock.
  • Plan to carry at least five days of food for your animals on livestock transports, especially if the animals require a specially formulated diet.
  • Compile a record of mechanical inventory left behind and bring with you.
  • Have photographs taken of your equipment and have copies with you; photograph your expensive saddles and bridles and other tack. The more documentation you have proving you own this property the better.

Horses must have a permanent identification, whether it be microchip, brand or lip tattoo. Owners should bring all identification papers when evacuating along with a copy of the horse’s current Coggins test record. It is extremely important to have the Coggins test record. Owners should also carry recent photographs of their horses (including identifying marks or scars) with them if forced to evacuate.
Strain said the LDAF Animal Evacuation Information Center on the LDAF Website has information on how best to prepare your animal and yourself for hurricane emergencies. The LDAF Animal Evacuation Information Center Website is located at Others may call 1-800-558-9741 toll free or 225-925-3980 for more information.

The LSU AgCenter Web site,, also has detailed information on how to prepare your livestock for emergency situations.