UDAF issues statement on cattlemen impacted by fires
The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) has received numerous requests for assistance from livestock owners impacted by the unprecedented string of wildfires burning in the state. As a result, the UDAF is announcing the activation of an Emergency Animal Feed Program. The UDAF, in coordination with the Utah Emergency Animal Response Coalition, (UEARC) has established the "Feed the Animals" account at Wells Fargo Bank where the public can make cash donations that will be used to purchase food and other animal needs.
In addition, an interactive web site is now available for the public to make donations, and for livestock owners to make requests for assistance. The web site is: http://www.uearc.org/ The web site is also reachable via: www.ag.utah.gov/
"We have established this important fund to help our ranchers, and others, who have lost the ability to feed their animals," said Governor Gary Herbert. "This is an opportunity for Utahns across the state to pitch in and help our livestock owners remain in business and recover from this terrible fire season."
"An estimated 20,000 head of sheep and cattle have had their seasonal rangelands destroyed by fire in the past week," said Utah Commissioner of Agriculture and Food, Leonard Blackham. "The Feed The Animals Fund will help ranchers meet their short and long-term food needs," added Commissioner Blackham.
UEARC (U-ARK) is an authorized 501(c) (3) organization that has been established for some time to care for animals during times of emergencies. One hundred per cent of the funds donated will be used to feed and care for the affected animals.
Members of UEARC include the Utah Department of Emergency Management, the Humane Society of Utah, The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, and various county animal control departments.
The UDAF is meeting with various federal, state and local land management leaders to coordinate the replanting of fire-resistant grasses in the impacted areas.