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Tasman fires: Animal welfare update

  • Anyone worried about animals in the fire affected area should phone the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) on 0800 008 333 (option 4).
  • For the latest updates visit the Nelson Tasman Civil Defence website
  • MPI is coordinating the animal Animals of any size can be brought directly to the Richmond Showgrounds where there is housing, food and water.
  • MPI is the lead agency in terms of animal welfare response, working with CDEM as the overall event lead, and coordinating the efforts of SPCA, HUHANZ and others.
  • Civil Defence will prevent people without proper registration crossing the cordon, for safety reasons. People wanting to volunteer should phone 0800 008 333 and register with the agencies being coordinated by MPI.
  • Donations of animal food and supplies to Richmond Showgrounds have been plentiful. All contributions are welcome but at the moment there is no urgent need.welfare response and has staff and volunteers on the ground, including transporters, ready to help.

18th February update

Nelson Tasman Civil Defence have announced that restricted residential access to all fire-affected valleys today (18 February) has been cancelled because of high winds and the associated extreme fire danger.

MPI staff are working hard to ensure the welfare of animals in the Tasman region. A team from the Ministry for Primary Industries has again been stationed at the cordon to Redwood Valley, where residents can discuss any concerns regarding the welfare of their animals

It’s not possible for MPI to go into areas beyond the cordon for individual cases, unless they are extreme animal welfare situations and it’s safe for our staff to do so.

 When it becomes safe for us to enter, MPI will coordinate our animal welfare staff and vets will move through the area to assess any immediate animal welfare needs.

 The animals in these areas were last fed yesterday and will be fine for 2-3 days if necessary, as long as they have access to water.

 For residents who have restricted access – just a reminder to please ensure you provide your animals with enough food and water for at least 2-3 days in the event you cannot to get back to your animals.

If you have to evacuate, take your pets with you – if you can do so safely – or take them to a safe shelter place.

 Evacuated animals are still being cared for at the Richmond Park Showgrounds, where there is housing, food and water. Animals of any size can be brought directly to the Showgrounds to be looked after by the amazing team of volunteers. Come to main gate at 358 Lower Queen Street. Please don’t use the Richmond entrance (the gum gate) – that’s for heavy vehicles only.


Remember, make a plan for your animals so that if you need to evacuate again, you can settle them in first - don't leave animals in vehicles.


If you need any support regarding the welfare of your animals please call MPI on 0800 008 333, option 4.



We will be providing future updates on the animal welfare situation on an ‘as-needed’ basis.


We’re continuing to monitor the situation on the ground in Nelson, and work with Civil Defence to address animal welfare issues associated with the fires.

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