ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s Agriculture Department is urging residents to include livestock and pets in disaster preparedness plans as Hurricane Irene approaches the East Coast.

The department recommended Wednesday that poultry and livestock be moved to high ground and sheltered in securely battened barns, houses or tightly fenced areas.

The department also recommends farmers notify the agriculture department or the Maryland Emergency Management Agency if any agricultural assistance is needed before, during or after the storm. That includes injured animals in need of veterinary assistance or dead animals that require disposal.

Irene could make landfall over the North Carolina coast sometime Saturday, then move to the north near the Chesapeake Bay. However, because such projections can be uncertain, it also could straddle the coast.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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