Needs of animals in Iraq being assessed

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The World Society for the Protection of Animals is raising funds to provide veterinary supplies to aid the animals of Iraq. More than $250,000 is needed to bring Iraqi veterinary hospitals supplies to treat animals that have gone without basic veterinary care.

It was anticipated that in June, a WSPA disaster relief team will have begun distributing several tons of veterinary supplies through a network of veterinary hospitals throughout central and southern Iraq—the country's main agricultural region and one of the most affected by the war.

An initial WSPA assessment mission in May found that veterinary supplies, already scarce in Iraq before the war, were nearly nonexistent. Looting of poorly stocked clinics has left local veterinarians without the means to help injured or sick animals in a country where many families depend on their animals.

WSPA is recognized by the United Nations and works to raise animal welfare standards throughout the world. No stranger to war zones, the organization has provided relief for animals during the Gulf War, and in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan.

Jonathan Owen, a WSPA spokesman based in the organization's London, England office, said the U.S. State Department requested WSPA's assistance in Iraq. The entire relief fund will be used to aid the Iraq animals, Owen added.

At press time, the North Carolina Zoo and American Zoo and Aquarium Association had joined an international coalition assessing the health of the animals of Baghdad Zoo and providing for their welfare.

Donations to WSPA's Appeal for the Animals of Iraq can be made by calling 0845-0737-500 in London, England; writing to wspaatwspa [dot] org [dot] uk, or WSPA, Dept. PP27, Freepost SCE6686, Melksham, SN12 6GZ; or by visiting