News & Media

New database protects animals from bushfire

By: CFA Media

Category: Community Safety, Health & Safety

  2.12 PM 18 February, 2016

Location: General

Views: 6840

CFA has partnered with an Australian-first project that aims to provide better protection of horses and other companion animals during bushfires. 

The National Equine Database (NED) has been developed by CFA volunteer Jenna Kelley, founder of the Walking Forward Disaster Relief Team.

The database, launched this week, works by linking equine owners with property owners who have the capacity to temporarily house animals during bushfires and other emergencies.

By networking through the database pet owners in bushfire prone areas can establish plans to move their animals to a nominated safe place on days of predicted peak fire danger.

Ms Kelley said the idea came about from not having anywhere to evacuate her thoroughbred to on days of significant fire danger.

“The loss of animals and family pets from a fire is devastating and the impact on surviving animals can be felt for months afterwards,” she said.

“Moving large animals from harm’s way isn’t always possible during the chaos of a fire.

“That’s why planning ahead, and knowing your trigger to move before fire breaks out, is the best option.”

CFA Chief Officer Joe Buffone said the project was important for building community resilience.

“Just as we ask people to ensure they have a bushfire plan, animal owners also need to plan ahead,” Mr Buffone said.

“Horses need a large open space with minimal vegetation to avoid harm during bushfires.

“Many people whose properties don’t meet these criteria choose to agist their horses during the Fire Danger Period, but that isn’t possible for everyone.

“That’s where a national register like NED can play a critical role.”

NED can also store animal identification details and other records to help prove ownership.

The database launched in mid-February and can be accessed at

Last Updated: 19 February 2016