LEGS: New Guidelines for Livestock Emergencies

GLOBAL - Following the disastrous 2005 earthquake in Pakistan, several humanitarian organizations came forward to help households who had lost their livestock to rebuild herds and flocks by providing replacement animals.
calendar icon 8 May 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

But most of the animal shelters in the affected areas had been destroyed, and there was also a major shortage of winter feed. Consequently, many of the animals donated failed to survive.

A newly-developed set of Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards (LEGS) published yesterday is designed to prevent similar mistakes recurring and to ensure that the livelihoods of vulnerable livestock keepers are protected in future crises.

Specifically, the LEGS initiative includes a set of international guidelines, decision support tools and standards for the design, implementation and assessment of livestock interventions on behalf of populations in need of emergency relief.

Appropriate interventions

It will assist specialists in livestock and humanitarian assistance involved in responding to emergencies to identify the most appropriate livestock interventions in collaboration with local communities and service providers. LEGS addresses three central objectives:

  • Providing rapid assistance to crisis-affected populations
  • Assisting them to rebuild those assets
  • Protecting their livestock assets

"The initiative is of particular relevance in the current global context of climate change," says FAO Senior Livestock Officer Simon Mack. Accompanied by more frequent extreme weather events, climate change is causing a growing number of humanitarian crises which often affect livestock-reliant communities in particular.

Translation of LEGS into French, Arabic and Spanish and a comprehensive programme of training users of LEGS will be undertaken with the support of the UK Department of International Development (DFID) and the European Union.

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