The Florida Veterinary Medical Association, The College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are working together to establish a volunteer corps of veterinarians and veterinary technicians who will support response measures in the event of an emergency involving animals and animal health.
Florida is continually threatened by natural disasters such as hurricanes and forest fires, by the introduction of foreign emerging animal diseases, and by potential acts of bioterrorism. These threats all affect animal health, public health and safety, and our state and national economics.
In the aftermath of any emergency, veterinarians and veterinary technicians may be needed to assist local, state, and national response teams in meeting the needs of our animals and people. These professionals would be a part of our State Agriculture Response Team (SART), serving under Emergency Support Function (ESF) 17 and our State Emergency Response Team. Veterinary staff may serve in assessing veterinary response capabilities and provide for emergency animal treatment in the aftermath of a natural disaster or may serve in support of disease surveillance and control efforts in combating devastating diseases affecting Florida’s animals.
Although this program is unable to provide salary or benefits to its volunteers, volunteers working in an official capacity would be covered under state liability and workers’ compensative programs.
Florida has a very strong veterinary community and this program is intended to provide greater resources to build our animal emergency response capacity. Please consider joining the Florida Veterinary Medical Association, the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in support of this program.
We hope you will give serious consideration to volunteering in support of this program.