Safety first when caring for livestock

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While much of Colorado is digging out from another winter blast, the Colorado Department of Agriculture advises residents to be cautious when caring for their animals.

"As farmers and ranchers go to feed their livestock, they should take every precaution to protect their personal safety," said John Maulsby, Colorado State Veterinarian. "If they get stuck or if there is a medical emergency, there could be a problem getting emergency help to them. Caring for livestock is important, but human safety is the top priority."

After a second winter storm, Governor Bill Owens declared a second statewide disaster emergency on Thursday, December 28, 2006. According to the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC), the areas being hardest hit Saturday morning are Prowers, Bent, Kiowa and Baca counties. Many roads are impassable and most are closed to traffic, snowdrifts are as high as 10 foot, and visibility is poor throughout the area.

"County, State, and National Guard resources are dedicated to help protect life and property during this storm," said Colorado Division of Emergency Management Director, George Epp. "I urge folks to avoid unnecessary travel and to stay inside and keep warm. This state's livestock is a priority, but human lives are number one."

If livestock owners need assistance getting feed to animals, it is recommended they call their local sheriff's office.

It is also recommended that emergency supply kits should be in every home and car. It is also a good tip to keep vehicles with a full tank of gas and take a fully charged cell phone when heading outdoors. For more winter preparedness information, log onto http://dola.colorado.gov/dem. Click on Winter Weather Preparedness Week. For information on Colorado road conditions, log onto http://www.cotrip.org.

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