asked Her Majesty’s Government:
Whether they will take steps to ensure that dogs for blind people, helper dogs for disabled people and household pets are provided with emergency accommodation when people are evacuated from their homes because of flooding and other disasters. [HL5009]
The Civil Contingencies Act 2004, elaborated in statutory guidance published with the Act, places a requirement on all category 1 responders (organisations at the core of the response to most emergencies) to take account of the needs of vulnerable groups in their emergency plans. These vulnerable groups include individuals who are dependent on an animal for their safe mobility.
The Government’s non-statutory guidance for emergency planners, Evacuation and Shelter Guidance, published in 2006, also encourages emergency planners to make arrangements to care for animals within evacuation plans. These should include:
animal transport and containers;
establishing temporary shelters where animals can be looked after by vets and animal welfare charities;
systems for people to put their pets into care in unaffected households or animal shelters in unaffected areas;
systems to reunite people with their animals; and
special arrangements with animal welfare charities (if they have the capabilities), zoos and/or wildlife centres for them to securely accommodate privately owned dangerous wild animals.