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Livestock coalition garners governor's support


Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin endorsed the newly formed Oklahoma Livestock Relief Coalition during a press conference at the state capitol Jan. 23. The coalition provides a funding channel for people to support the efforts of livestock producers and law enforcement agencies who are often given the task of caring for abandoned and neglected livestock.

"It's a great example of the private sector coming together with law enforcement agencies to properly take care of animals," Fallin said.

Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese noted last summer's drought created a difficult situation for livestock owners and the lingering effects still impact livestock producers.

"We had the hottest and driest summer on record, creating hay shortages that continue today," Reese said.

OLRC Spokesperson Dr. Carey Floyd said veterinarians are working closely with law enforcement agencies to handle calls on neglected and abused large animals.

"We are receiving many phone calls from people about starving animals," said Floyd, president of the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association. "People don't have any hay, there is no pasture left. Some people are really struggling to properly care for the animals."

Fallin encouraged the public to help the OLRC take care of these animals.

"This takes money so I would like to encourage Oklahomans who want to help to make a donation to the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association Foundation."

The OLRC mission is to provide emergency financial resources to local law enforcement agencies that have seized abused and neglected large animals and assure humane care of the animals. The OLRC structure allows concerned citizens to donate funds intended to assist Oklahoma law enforcement agencies with large animal neglect, abuse, and abandonment cases. Contributions will be used to provide feed and reasonable emergency care for seized animals during the initial 30-day phase of these cases.

Charter Members of the Oklahoma Livestock Relief Coalition are: Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association; Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry; Oklahoma Farm Bureau; Oklahoma Humane Federation; Oklahoma Livestock Marketing Association; Oklahoma State University, Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources; Oklahoma State University, Center for Veterinary Health Sciences; Oklahoma Veterinary Technician Association; Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association; Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Foundation; Oklahoma State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners; American Farmers and Ranchers; Murray State College, Veterinary Technology; Poultry Federation of Oklahoma; and the Oklahoma Pork Council.

The OLRC is accepting monetary donations only. Donations may be made through the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Foundation, a 501(c)(3) at www.okvma.org or send to OVMF, PO Box 14521, Oklahoma City, OK 73113. Checks can be made payable to OLRC or OVMF. For more information, please call 405-478-1002.

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