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Tasman fires: MPI and SPCA animal welfare update

Tasman fires: MPI and SPCA animal welfare update

11 February 2019, 6PM


• Through MPI, SPCA National Rescue Unit, Massey University, HUHANZ and others we have had a significant field presence throughout the response.
• As at 3pm this afternoon:
o 400 animal welfare jobs have been logged that we are following up on and continuing to work through.
o The 0800 number had received around 130 calls. All of those have been followed up and had a call back where needed.
• We did have some issues early on with call backs and we understand how stressful it is for those waiting to hear a response. We are really focused on addressing all the highest priority calls, and then following up with people as we can.
• We did have some issues early on with call backs and we understand how stressful it is for those waiting to hear a response. We are really focused on addressing all the highest priority calls, and then following up with people as we can.
• Our aim is to phone every property owner in the area but the priority is where there are known animal welfare concerns, or the areas where we have not yet been able to check behind the cordon. You can still log any concerns about animals 0800 008 333 – option 4.
• Today we reached 700 animals at the Richmond Showgrounds in the care of MPI, SPCA, HUHANZ and other fantastic volunteers.

What have we done today?
• Animals welfare officers were posted at the cordons today, at each of the four valleys that were evacuated
• They were speaking to residents as they were allowed to return to their properties to check on their animals.
• Where needed, our officers and vets went back to some properties to assess concerns for those residents and arrange resources ie water, extra feed
• We also visited other properties where owners have contacted MPI asking for help.

What we’ve been doing since day 1:

• Whenever possible we are tending to animals behind the cordon. SPCA rescue crews and MPI Vets go in as soon as we are allowed to do so.
• We feed and water animals that are there, and ensure they have freedom to move about.
• Where necessary we have removed some animals, they are now at the Richmond Showgrounds in the care of MPI, SPCA, HUHANZ and other fantastic volunteers.


• Any animal welfare concerns that had been logged for Wakefield have been followed up (there are a couple we could not reach so if you are waiting for a call back please phone the 0800 again).
Pigeon Valley
• We have visited all properties in Pigeon Valley and all animals still there are doing well – some were brought back to the showgrounds.
• We’ve been able to phone everyone who had reported issues in Pigeon Valley.
• Now prioritising the high priority cases that remain.
Eves, Teapot, Redwood
• We’re following up on animal welfare jobs logged in these areas. All residents were able to visit today.
Information and Support
• MPI is providing regular updates about the animal welfare response to the Tasman Fires on its website, here: www.mpi.govt.nz/tasman-fires. You can subscribe to receive updates straight to your inbox, here.
• Federated Farmers has opened its Feedline to support farmers who have been affected by the fires and need extra feed or grazing for their animals. Farmers who are short of feed, or who have feed to donate, can contact Federated Farmers on 0800 327 646.
• The Rural Support Trust (RST) is also available to support farmers, growers and others in the rural sector. They provide free and confidential support, advice and referrals, including with health, finances and more. RST can be contacted on 0800 787 254.

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