Livestock took biggest quake hit
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2008:
CHENGDU–The most numerous sentient victims of the May 12,
2008 Sichuan earthquake were livestock. Fourteen million chickens
and rabbits, 3.8 million pigs, 178,000 goats, and 60,000 cows died
in collapsed or inaccessible barns, the Chinese agriculture ministry
updated on June 4, nearly doubling the estimate of pig losses.
Sichuan pig slaughter will drop 10% in 2008 due to the
earthquake, the agriculture ministry estimated.
“Our headquarters for all of China is in Chengdu,” said
Heifer International spokesperson Ashley Michael, acknowledging that
personnel and facilities had been shaken, but mentioning no deaths
among the staff at the 28 Heifer International projects in Sichuan.
Pledging to help rebuild the region’s livestock industry, Heifer
International commenced fundraising for earthquake response almost
Edward Wong of The New York Times appeared to be the only
reporter at the earthquake scene who mentioned anyone helping the
livestock victims, if only to slaughter the animals later. “A
farmer returning to look at his home told me he had found some pigs
still alive and fed them corn,” wrote Wong on May 25. “He wanted to
come back for them in five or six days.”
Wong and his driver, a Mr. Yu, rescued a brown puppy who
was wearing a red ribbon, found amid the rubble of collapsed