The New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) has welcomed the Government’s announcement that it is investing a further $30 million to help rural businesses and communities boost health and safety, and protect animal welfare, following Cyclone Gabrielle.
The money is part of $45.5 million being invested through Budget 2023 to support the recovery of rural communities affected by the North Island weather events, including Cyclone Gabrielle.
NZVA Chief Executive Kevin Bryant says the Association, which is a Ministry for Primary Industries support agency for animal welfare, has seen a huge need for assistance with animal welfare issues and for the people working with animals in cyclone affected areas.
“Our major focus has been on supporting the veterinary community through this event, both in terms of practical assistance to help manage increased workloads and directing vet teams to free wellbeing advice and support,” he says.
“As we move through the recovery phase, there are longer term challenges, particularly with leptospirosis and other zoonotic diseases, and of course there are ongoing concerns about herd and flock health as land and infrastructure are repaired. It really is a long game at the moment and requires substantial funding to help everyone get back on their feet.
“Animal welfare is so closely linked to human wellbeing. We know that with veterinarians, who also see the impact on people with sick companion animals or struggling to look after animals on farms.”
“Veterinarians are Aotearoa’s animal welfare experts, and we especially want to make sure they are well equipped and able to provide the best possible service to people who need them, following the Cyclone.”
The NZVA intends to work with veterinarians and others involved in animal welfare to consider how the government funding could be used most effectively, and participate in the Government’s Expressions of Interest process.
Source: New Zealand Veterinary Association