Protect your pet in a disaster

Disaster management work in New Zealand

With more than 50 years of experience working in disaster zones around the world, World Animal Protection knows that the lives of people are linked with that of their pets. 

Disasters in New Zealand are unfortunately very real. And like the Canterbury earthquakes they can happen quickly; without warning and can sadly cause death and destruction. Therefore, now more than ever, we need emergency management plans to support Kiwi owners and their pets in a disaster.

The National Animal Welfare Emergency Management (NAWEM) Advisory Group

To address this need for protection in a disaster, in New Zealand, the National Animal Welfare Emergency Management (NAWEM) Advisory Group of which World Animal Protection is a member, was started in 2006. NAWEM is a cluster of agencies with the purpose of providing advice on animal welfare issues during emergencies.

NAWEM is formally recognised by the New Zealand Government, as a cluster of organisations which can assist and advise civil defence planners. It is made up of representatives from; World Animal Protection; The Royal New Zealand SPCA (RNZSPCA); the New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA); the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM); the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI); New Zealand Institute of Animal Control Officers (NZIACO); Federated Farmers of New Zealand; Massey University and the New Zealand Companion Animal Council (NZCAC).

Emergency Welfare Planning Guidance for pets

NAWEM has drafted New Zealand’s first comprehensive guidance for the welfare of pets in an emergency. This technical information will assist the country’s civil defence emergency management planners, and others responsible for animals in an emergency, on how to develop companion animal (pets) emergency welfare plans for their local area. 

The guidance will be part of a Director’s Guideline, currently in development by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM), addressing welfare in an emergency. This new Guideline will also include information concerning farm animals, animals used in research and testing facilities, zoo animals, and wildlife.

NAWEM continually aims to:

  • work with the Government to improve New Zealand's Animal Welfare and Civil Defence in an Emergency Management legislation so it;

  • better meets the needs of animals and promotes risk reduction and preparedness for animals in emergencies to protect Kiwi communities.

The World Animal Protection Disaster Response Team

NAWEM is co-chaired by World Animal Protection and Federated Farmers. NAWEM members from MPI, SPCA and Massey University have been trained and are able to assist the World Animal Protection’s Disaster Assessment Response Teams (DARTs) in the Pacific and, should the need arise, Asia. 

This multi-layered work in New Zealand showcases how World Animal Protection moves the world to protect animals in disasters through working with governments and its officials, relevant organisations, fellow non-government organisations and also individuals in countries around the globe.

You can help World Animal Protection move New Zealand to prepare for, respond to and eventually recover from disasters.