Animal Disaster Team
The Animal Disaster Team (ADT) was officially launched on Tuesday, October 3, on the eve of World Animal Day. This newly founded emergency rescue team is dedicated to aiding animals in distress during natural, industrial or human-caused disasters. The inauguration ceremony was held in Gembloux and was attended by Flemish Animal Welfare Minister Ben Weyts and representatives from the office of Walloon Animal Welfare Minister Céline Tellier.
12 October 2023

ADT is a collaborative effort between three Belgian animal protection associations: GAIA, UWPA (Union Wallonne pour la Protection Animale), and FéFRACAF (Fédération Francophone des Refuges Agréés pour Chevaux et Animaux de Ferme). The project stemmed from a realization prompted by the floods that struck Wallonia in 2021.

While the human and material losses from these floods have been profoundly distressing, the welfare of the animals has equally weighed on our minds. In the face of a significant disaster, it’s crucial that animals receive optimal emergency care. It became obvious that our country urgently required a rescue service dedicated to the care and transport of animals.

Lara Sohet
ADT Coordinator

At the inauguration, ADT managers introduced their team alongside a showcase of their vehicles and equipment. This included a range of animal transport vehicles (4X4s, vans, trucks, converted vans), specialized rescue equipment for equines and farm animals (such as telescopic lifting gear), as well as water rescue vehicles and associated equipment.

Responding to disasters

In the field, ADT will promptly retrieve and transport distressed animals. The organization will then reunite them with their families or facilitate their transfer to various shelters and accommodation centers. ADT has the capacity to swiftly deploy both human and technical resources 24/7 across Belgium.

In 2021, numerous animals either died or went missing, while others were scattered across the country due to a lack of coordination. It therefore appeared essential to us to provide a practical solution in times of disaster.

Fabrice Renard
UWPA Vice-President

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