Caring for Livestock During an Evacuation

To help the province prepare for and manage animal health issues during an evacuation, all owners or operators of premises with livestock and poultry should complete a premises identification application.

Most producers and rural area residents have evacuation plans for emergencies such as floods, that include care of livestock. The following are tips to assist you in making or updating your plans:

  • Plan for more than one evacuation route off the property.
  • If livestock is not moved off the premises, ensure they are in a safe location. For example, during a flood, ensure they are on high ground and confined to an area to minimize the risk of electrocution.
  • Producers need to ensure their livestock have access to feed and water supplies that will last 3-7 days. If livestock is housed at a temporary location, it is the producer’s responsibility to ensure there is adequate feed and water.
  • Producers may need to arrange for additional feed onsite if local roads are expected to be blocked.
  • If an emergency situation prevents you from evacuating your livestock, put up posters or maps for rescuers at property/barn entry points describing the location, species, and numbers of animals contained within premises.
  • Practice loading animals into and out of transport devices prior to evacuation if possible.
  • Accustomize animals to staying in transport devices for extended periods of time. Some animals may require sedation for transport. Consult with your veterinarian in advance.
  • An alternate source of energy, such as a backup generator, should be available for use in barns.

Producers who require assistance in finding a temporary location for livestock can contact their local Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development Office.

For more information, please contact the Chief Veterinary Office at or call 204-945-7684 in Winnipeg.