Horseback Emergency Response Team provides disaster assistance

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The Horseback Emergency Response Team, comprised of Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) livestock inspectors and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) mounted patrol inspectors, was created in 2012 with a primary duty to locate, contain, identify, and move abandoned, stray, or injured livestock in the aftermath of a disaster.

"There has been some research done on this. People's activities and movement are influenced by their animals, whether they are small companion animals or large animals, and they often end up putting themselves in danger. We recognized that we needed a way to help deal with such animal issues during an emergency, which would not only make animals a lot safer but ultimately their owners as well," said Dr. Dee Ellis, Texas State Veterinarian and Executive Director of the Texas Animal Health Commission.

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He said as an agency that deals with animal issues and safety, TAHC has resources available to do something about the challenges associated with natural disasters in Texas.

TAHC is the Texas lead agency for animal issues in disasters.

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