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Te Awamutu Courier - 2021-10-14

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Animal welfare compromised: NZVA

The Country

An acute shortage of vets could lead to animal welfare issues if the Government does not respond to the New Zealand Veterinary Association, according to National Agriculture spokesperson Barbara Kuriger. She says the association contacted her this week after months of lobbying the Government for managed isolation and quarantine spaces (MIQ) to get overseas vets into New Zealand. “Earlier this year, MPI and Minister O’Connor advocated for 50 border exceptions for vets to enter the country,” says Barbara. “But these vets are unable to book spaces, in the lottery that is, this country’s MIQ system. “Since then, the association has been lobbying for a dedicated MIQ allowance of two spaces per week to let those 50 vets in. “Association CEO Kevin Bryant tells me vets are exhausted, working long hours, are on call 24/7 and some are breaking point. They are concerned animal welfare issues are emerging because of time delays due to them being unable to meet client needs.” Barbara says vets who were keen to come here are now abandoning the idea, and taking up job offers in other countries. “It’s unacceptable that the Government cannot sort the whole debacle of the MIQ system. They need to prioritise the critical needs and they need to do that right now.”

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