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AUSTIN – The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) was honored with an Excellence in Emergency Management Award for the Horseback Emergency Response Team. The award was accepted by Dr. Dee Ellis, TAHC Executive Director and State Veterinarian, during the Emergency Management Association of Texas (EMAT) 2014 Symposium. The EMAT Annual Awards Program was held Feb. 25 in San Marcos.
The purpose of the EMAT Annual Awards Program is to recognize the achievement and hard work of the individuals, organizations and jurisdictions that have made exceptional efforts to further the field of emergency management and to ensure a whole community approach to preventing, preparing for, mitigating against, responding to and recovering from disasters.
As part of the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) state response structure, the TAHC is designated as the state’s lead agency for animal issues in disasters. The Horseback Emergency Response Team is comprised of TAHC livestock inspectors and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) mounted patrol inspectors whose primary role in the aftermath of a disaster is to assist with locating, rounding up, identifying, and moving livestock. The team also performs other emergency response duties as requested by local and state officials. The team of approximately 25 responders enhances the State’s capability to assist the citizens of Texas with animal issues during disasters.
Dr. Dee Ellis stated, “The Horseback Emergency Response Team is a testament of the TAHC’s dedication and commitment to serve the citizens of Texas. We are honored to have been selected for this prestigious Emergency Management Association of Texas’ award.”
Founded in 1893, the Texas Animal Health Commission works to protect the health of all Texas livestock, including: cattle, swine, poultry, sheep, goats, equine animals, and exotic livestock.