MPI working closely with response agencies as fire and drought conditions continue

Date:
Media contact: MPI media team
Telephone: 029 894 0328

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is monitoring the situation in Tasman district closely as further water restrictions are announced.

"This is a very challenging time for farmers, the horticulture and wine industries in the region and, of course, for the whole community who have been affected by wildfire and drought conditions," says David Lindsay, MPI regional controller.

"We are working closely with Tasman District Council, Rural Support Trust and other agencies to ensure rural communities are supported as the drought bites and we move into the second week of the fire."

A medium-scale adverse event for both fire and drought was recently declared for Tasman district, unlocking Government support for farmers and growers.

"We are monitoring the situation very carefully and are working with other agencies as the situation develops."

"Please conserve as much water as possible while still providing for your animal and human welfare needs, as the dry conditions continue."

Advice to rural communities

Providing shade and shelter

Contain livestock in paddocks where there is adequate shade for every animal. Check that the water supply is still drinkable. Low dams or ponds may be surrounded by mud or sludge. Fencing off these areas will prevent animals from potentially becoming entrapped.

Stock levels

It is critical stock levels on properties are appropriate to the water restrictions currently in place. Farmers and lifestyle block owners need to be making active destocking decisions.

Feedline

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 32 76 46. Anyone affected by fires and needing feed for animals can register for this help but availability is dependent on donations and priority will be given to farms who rely on farm income for their living and have been affected by fire.

Wildfires and animal welfare

For properties affected by the wildfire, MPI has animal welfare staff at each cordon during the access periods. We encourage people to approach our staff at the cordons if they have any concerns or need help.

For further animal welfare advice or assistance contact MPI's animal welfare team on 0800 00 83 33 (option 4).

Animal welfare officers are posted at the cordons, at each of the 4 valleys that were evacuated. We will be there every day when the cordons are open, to talk to people visiting their properties and animals.

In the valley areas where there is still restricted access, MPI has animal welfare staff at each cordon during the access periods and we encourage people to approach the MPI staff at those cordons if they have any concerns. They are there to make sure MPI is aware of any issues.

Rural Support Trust

Farmers and growers communities are also able to access support from the local Rural Support Trust who can provide free and confidential support, advice and referrals, including with health, finances and more. The Trust can be contacted on 0800 78 72 54.

 

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