Floods again hit overgrazed Pakistan

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2012:

MULTAN--Animal Save Movement Pakistan president Khalid Mahmood Qurashi on September 21,  2012 appealed to the world for help on behalf of animals and humans displaced by the second round of catastrophic monsoon flooding to hit Punjab, Sindh, and Balochistan in only three years.

At least 217 people were killed, with 222,500 displaced, according to the international disaster response resource ReliefWeb. No animal toll was available.

The 2010 flooding killed more than 2,000 people and displaced 21 million, with a toll of 1.2 million mammals and six million poultry killed and as many as 30 million animals displaced, according to the Pakistan Department of Livestock.If the animal losses in 2012 were proportionate, about 120,000 mammals and 600,000 poultry lost their lives.

The Pakistani government in 2012 “absolutely failed to help either animals or people,” Qurashi alleged.  The flood crested in the upper Indus region as rioting broke out downstream over an allegedly blasphemous depiction of Islam in an amateur film made by an Egyptian immigrant in California, but flashfloods along Indus tributaries had begun a month earlier.

The echo of the 2010 disaster underscored the inability of the arid and usually overgrazed upper Indus region to absorb the combination of intensifying monsoons with runoff from melting Himalayan glacers, discussed in detail in the July/August 2010 ANIMAL PEOPLE editorial feature “How expanding animal agriculture swamped Pakistan.”  The repeated animal losses showed the futility of efforts by livestock gift charities,  the Pakistani government,  and even the World Society for the Protection of Animals to rebuild herds and flocks after the 2010 crisis,  pointed out the September 2010 ANIMAL PEOPLE editorial.

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