News & Press: NZVA news

BOP Flood: Advice for farmers and pet owners in flooded areas

Sunday, 29 April 2018  
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Advice for farmers and pet owners in flooded areas

During a flood or storm:

  • The safety of you, your family, and workers comes first.
  • Listen to your local radio stations for updates from officials.
  • Move stock to safety, shelter and water and make sure they can't wander. Are the electric fences working?
  • Check buildings at risk, feed stacks. Move equipment and feed to higher ground.
  • Check dogs, poultry and pets.
  • Check on neighbours - do they need help or can they help you?
  • Treat all lines as live
  • Turn off utilities if told to do so by authorities as it can help prevent damage to your home or community. Unplug small appliances to avoid damage from power surges.
  • Do not attempt to drive or walk through floodwaters unless it is absolutely essential.
  • Report power and phone outages.
  • Use generators if necessary to keep pumps, refrigeration, electric fences and household appliances running. Flood pumps may need attention.

Useful contacts


Rural Support Trust: 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP)

Ministry for Primary: Industries (Animal Welfare): 0800 00 83 33

Bay of Plenty Regional Council: 0800 884 880:

Whakatane District Council:07 306 0500:

Kawerau District Council: 07 306 9009:

Tauranga City Council: 07 577 7000:

Western Bay of Plenty District Council: 07 571 8008:

Opotiki District Council: 07 315 3030:

Federated Farmers: 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646)

Animals: Livestock, lifestyle block, horse and pet owners

  • Ask for help if you need it.
  • If you have to evacuate, take your pets with you, or take them to a safe sheltered place, where they will be cared for. Remember if it’s not safe for you, it’s not safe for them
  • If you have livestock or horses in paddocks near waterways that have the potential to flood (streams, rivers etc.), move them to higher ground. High value stock or vulnerable stock (e.g. stock close to giving birth, young stock) should be moved to areas which will be easily accessible in case they need assistance, supplementary feed or veterinary treatment.
  • If you stay on your property, check all stock are contained and that fences have not been damaged by land slips, flooding or power cuts (in the case of electric fences). Consider opening gates within your property to allow stock easy access to dry ground. Do not open gates onto roadways or cut roadside fences. If you need to move your stock consider moving them to higher ground on your own property, moving them to a neighbour’s property if they’re able to contain them, or evacuation to another area.
  • Make sure your stock have access to clean feed and water in their new contained space until they can be returned to their paddocks.
  • In a flood, animals may panic and flee to escape the situation, taking out any obstacles in their way. Check your animals for wounds - they may just look like a small hole or a tear. Unlike people, animals tend to hide their pain making it difficult to detect. If you think your animals have sustained internal or external injuries, contact your veterinarian.
  • Keep animals away from flood water. It may be contaminated with biological waste and chemicals. If you come into contact with an animal that has been in flood water, change your clothing and wash your hands thoroughly. If you can, wear protective gear such as overalls, gloves and a mask.
  • Move animals out of flooded paddocks as soon as you safely can. If animals are left in contaminated water for long periods, they are at risk of bacterial infections, chemical burns and sloughing of their skin. If they are affected, you can cleanse their skin/coat by hosing them down with non-contaminated water.
  • If the water is not safe for you to drink, it is not safe for your animals. Do not let animals drink flood water if possible since it may be contaminated. Make sure they have access to clean water.
  • Pasture and stored feed may be contaminated by flood water. Feed out stored feed or supplementary feed. Prioritise feeding to high priority animals - high value stock or vulnerable stock (e.g. stock close to giving birth, young stock).

Lost and found animals

  • If you find a farm animal and are not sure about ownership, contact your Local Council Animal Management or SPCA.
  • If you find a pet animal that needs immediate medical attention, please take it to your local veterinarian or SPCA.
  • If you need help with animal rescue, contact your local SPCA, Council or Civil Defence Centre.
  • If you find injured native wildlife contact Department of Conservation.
  • For non-native species contact your local veterinarian or SPCA.
  • If you have lost or found a pet post the details on, the New Zealand Companion Animal Register 0800 LOSTPET (0800 567873) or a local veterinarian.