Technical ReportPDF Available

No animal left behind: A report on animal inclusive emergency management law reform

Authors:
  • Country Fire Authority

Abstract

A comprehensive review of laws and an associated legal arrangements pertaining to animal welfare during emergencies in New Zealand, and recommendations how the New Zealand government can improve its statutory arrangements to better protect pets and people following the lessons for the Christchurch (2010, 20111) earthquakes, Kaikoura Earthquake (2016) and Edgecumbe Flood (2017). The report was supported by Gareth Hughes MP and presented to the NZ Parliament in January, 2019, published by Animal Evac New Zealand Trust.
No animal left behind:
A report on animal inclusive
emergency management law
reform.
By Steve Glassey MEmergMgt CertAWI CEM®
January 2019
ISBN 978-0-473-45108-0
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Contents
Acknowledgments ................................................................................................................................... 3
Foreword by Gareth Hughes MP ............................................................................................................ 4
Introduction ............................................................................................................................................ 5
Legend ................................................................................................................................................. 6
Lead Agency ............................................................................................................................................ 7
Mandatory Planning................................................................................................................................ 8
Definitions ............................................................................................................................................... 9
Operational Response Costs ................................................................................................................. 10
Volunteer Training ................................................................................................................................ 10
General Emergency Powers .................................................................................................................. 11
Evacuation ......................................................................................................................................... 12
Entry onto premises .......................................................................................................................... 13
Requisitioning powers....................................................................................................................... 14
Microchip Databases............................................................................................................................. 14
Personation of disability assist dogs ..................................................................................................... 15
Failing to prevent harm and protect animals from hazards ................................................................. 16
Codes of Ethics ...................................................................................................................................... 18
Dog Control Bylaws ............................................................................................................................... 18
Dog Control Jurisdiction ........................................................................................................................ 19
Power to seize ....................................................................................................................................... 19
Holding periods ..................................................................................................................................... 19
Humane Trapping ................................................................................................................................. 20
Animal Establishment Emergency Plans ............................................................................................... 21
NAWAC membership ............................................................................................................................ 22
Mandated Organisations ...................................................................................................................... 23
Registration of displaced dogs .............................................................................................................. 24
Animal Population Data/Census ........................................................................................................... 24
Destruction of Animals ......................................................................................................................... 25
Deceased companion animals .............................................................................................................. 26
Removal of dog collars .......................................................................................................................... 26
Emergency Accommodation ................................................................................................................. 26
Political Leadership ............................................................................................................................... 28
Other Socio-Zoologically Vulnerable Animals ....................................................................................... 29
Code of Emergency Animal Welfare ..................................................................................................... 29
Sponsorship restrictions ....................................................................................................................... 30
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Local authority to be an approved organisation in an emergency ....................................................... 30
Reinforcing existing powers of Inspectors not affected ....................................................................... 31
Notice of entry requirement during an emergency .............................................................................. 31
Power to microchip during an emergency ............................................................................................ 32
Public transportation of companion animals........................................................................................ 32
Protection of animals during biosecurity incidents .............................................................................. 33
Conclusion ............................................................................................................................................. 34
Summary of changes ............................................................................................................................. 35
References ............................................................................................................................................ 40
Annex A: US State Laws (2011) ............................................................................................................. 44
Annex B: Entry, Seizure & Disposal Matrix (Draft) ................................................................................ 45
Warning: Some images in this document may be
disturbing to some viewers, as pictures of disaster
related neglect of animals are used.
Acknowledgments
The author wishes to thank Gareth Hughes MP, Margaret Nixon, Theresa Parkin, Rachel Stedman and
anonymous reviewers who have provided support, review and/or feedback on this report. This report
is also comprised of research funded by the University of Otago Doctoral Scholarship programme.
This report is published by Animal Evac New Zealand Trust and as partial contribution to the author’s
doctoral thesis and therefore is protected by academic freedom pursuant to section 161 of the
Education Act 1989.
Embargo
This report is subject to embargo and not for public release until January 22, 2019.
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Foreword by Gareth Hughes MP
Whakapūpūtia mai ō mānuka, kia kore ai e whati. Ki te
kotahi te kakaho ka whati, Ki te kapuia e kore e whati
Cluster the branches of the manuka so they will not break.
Alone we can be broken. Standing together, we are
invincible.
When disaster strikes, the most important thing is keeping
your loved ones safe. That’s why emergency management
planning is so important. We can stay safe by being
prepared.
But there is a focus missing from our current emergency
management arrangements, we don’t have fit for purpose laws to protect animals who play an important part in
our society and economy.
Can you imagine a disaster causing your family to be instructed to evacuate, only to be told to leave your pets
behind? Or to flee to a shelter, only to have civil defence authorities tell you that there are no plans in place to
help you care for your animals? Around the world there are countless examples where human and animal lives
have been put at risk by ignoring animals in emergencies.
In this important report, Steve Glassey, proposes how we can modernise our existing emergency plans and laws
to take account of animals in homes, farms and our communities.
This is not just an issue for animals, when separated from their animals, people will risk their own lives in animal
rescue attempts. Steve reveals that in many disasters, including the earthquakes that devastated Christchurch, a
common reason for people breaching cordons was to go rescue the furry members of their families. This makes
the job of our emergency responders much harder.
This can be avoided. But it takes planning and a modernisation of our laws. It takes our government stepping up
to improve our animal emergency management arrangements and laws so that agencies take a more animal
inclusive approach during disaster response. It will not only keep our animals safe, it will keep us safe, and it will
improve our overall response when disaster strikes.
Steve has comprehensively researched the issue and put forward a number of practical recommendations to
make sure our emergency laws and plans include all the members of our families. In the end, it’ll make us all safer.
Gareth Hughes
Member of Parliament
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“The great ness of a nation and its
moral progress can be judged by the
way its animals are treated.”
Mahatma Gandhi
Introduction
In 2005, America was struck by Hurricane Katrina. The deadliest natural disaster in their history at that
time. Over 1,800 people died in that disaster, millions of animals also perished. 44% of those who
failed to evacuate did so in part because they could not take their pets [1]. At the time, government
policy was to leave pets behind [2]. Within a year of this tragedy, the US government realising the
intrinsic link between people and animals, passed the Pets Emergency & Transportation Standards Act
2006 [3][6].
New Zealand has made little effort to learn from the grave mistakes of the USA [7][9]. The US
government mandated funding, planning and capability for animal disaster management. By contrast,
New Zealand still does not mandate responsibility for animal emergency management plans, fails to
provide for the reimbursement of response costs incurred by animal charities, and laws continue to
fail to sufficiently recognise animals require protection in disasters. In 2010, I completed my Masters
in Emergency Management and made recommendations to government including MPI and the
Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM), noting significant deficiencies in our
arrangements to protect animals from disaster [8]. None of the 60 recommendations have been
implemented.
Seven years later, the Edgecumbe Floods struck and over 1,000 animals were left behind in the town
and the fire service wouldn’t go back in because there were no people left in the town [9], [10]. Many
animals died needlessly. If it wasn’t for the massive efforts by the animal rescue volunteers, more
would have died [11]. One story was that of a woman who wanted to return to rescue her horse was
refused entry at the cordon. As a result, she swam across the flooded Rangitāiki river with some ropes
to rescue her horses [11]. Simply put, saving animals in disasters saves human lives. Indeed, leading
scholars in this area have stated Pet ownership is the single most common factor associated with
human evacuation failure that can be positively affected when the threat of disaster is imminent
[12]. Studies have also found that the phycological impact of pet loss can be just as traumatic as losing
one’s home or even another family member [13][16].
This paper is intended to assist the drafting of a private members bill for Gareth Hughes MP, to
enhance New Zealand’s animal welfare emergency management arrangements. This may require
amendments to existing legislation such as the Animal Welfare Act 1999, Dog Control Act 1990,
Residential Tenancies Act 1986, Human Rights Act 1993, Civil Defence Emergency Management Act
2002 (as well as associated Codes or Orders), and/or passage of new statutes.
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Legend
To assist with the identification of changes/additions to the various statues and other legal
instruments, recommendations as well as case studies have been colour coded as follows:
Dog Control Act 1996
Human Rights Act 1993
Animal Welfare Act 1999
Residential Tenancies Act 1984
Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002
National Civil Defence Emergency Management
Plan Order 2015
Case study
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Lead Agency
The historic failures of MPI in coordinating animal welfare emergency management need to be
considered given that animal welfare, let alone animal welfare emergency management is not a core
function of the Ministry. This has been raised on numerous occasions as a result of MPI failing to meet
basic requirements under the Coordinated Incident Management System (CIMS) and there may be
low confidence in MPI to perform all of this function [9], [10]. It is recommended that MPI lead non-
companion animal emergency management, however companion animal emergency management
becoming a core welfare function within civil defence emergency management as the needs of
companion animals and owners are intrinsically linked and an integrated approach for rescue, housing,
psychosocial needs response. This would mean, the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency
Management would be responsible for coordinating companion animal emergency management, the
CDEM Group responsible for coordinating companion animal emergency management, supported by
local authority animal control. This also ensures group level companion animal plans should be
incorporated by referenced into the group emergency management plan. Fire & Emergency NZ
assumes responsibility for coordinating companion animal rescue operations and companion animal
decontamination to ensure an integrated approach. This does not prevent teams such as the SPCA
National Rescue Unit or Massey University Veterinary Response Team from being deployed, however
it ensures such and similar teams are coordinated effectively alongside any human or property
protection response [10]. Simply put, more power and responsibility should be placed on local
authorities for companion animal emergency management as they have more capacity in this area,
and dog control registration could be amended to allow for such revenue to fund related activities (i.e.
in Wellington City alone, a 5% increase in dog registration would net an additional >$50,000 for animal
emergency management (reduction and readiness only as response and recovery costs are covered
under proposed changes in this document) and knowing this may help save their animal, ratepayers
may find this palatable. There are also over 1,600 registered charities that benefit animals in New
Zealand it is important that an inclusive forum is used to engage as many players as possible to
improve pre-incident preparedness and creating a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities. In
the US, there is the National Alliance of State Animal and Agricultural Emergency Programs (NASAAEP)
which is comprised of government, not for profit, and private organisations. This inclusive model is
lacking in New Zealand.
Amendment to the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan Order 2015
s.46 Role of fire service during response and recovery
Add: Fire & Emergency New Zealand is responsible for the coordination of search/rescue and
decontamination activities relating to companion animals during a major incident or state of
emergency, with the support of Approved Organisations, other such organisations included in s.75
(Animal Welfare) of the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan Order or as specified in
CDEM Group Plans or FENZ local plans. Nothing in this plan, requires Fire & Emergency New Zealand
to deliver animal related search, rescue or decontamination services.
S.75 Animal Welfare
Add: At the national, the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management is responsible for -
(d) facilitating inclusive collaboration across companion animal welfare interest groups to enhance
companion animal welfare arrangements through periodic hui, forums, workshops, conferences, and
meetings.
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(e) leading the development, implementation and review of a companion animal emergency
management plan as part of the national civil defence emergency management plan in consultation
with the search and rescue and welfare services clusters (s.33, National Civil Defence Emergency
Management Plan order 2015).
At the national, CDEM Group and local level, the Ministry for Primary Industries is responsible for -
coordinating and developing plans for non-companion animals.
Amendment to the Dog Control Act 1996
s.37(4) Local authority to set fees
Amend: In prescribing fees under this section, the territorial authority shall have regard to the relative
costs of the registration and control of dogs in the various categories described in paragraphs (a) to
(e) of subsection (2), obligations under the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan Order
(excluding response and recovery costs); and such other matters as the territorial authority considers
relevant.
Mandatory Planning
Nothing in the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 gives authority to set animal welfare
emergency plans (M. Nixon, personal communication, 2018). The National Civil Defence Emergency
Management Plan Order 2015, however tasks MPI to coordinate animal welfare planning, but no one
is accountable for such a plan there is also no ‘stick’ if this is not done either (nor is there any ‘carrot’).
This is not consistent with lessons from international experiences such as those from Hurricane Katrina
[8], [9], [17], [18] or the Victorian Bush Fires [19]. The Ministerial Review of Civil Defence, also
recommended the term “major incident” to be included in future emergencies for significant events
that fall below the threshold for declaring a state of emergency. Such plans need to be “incorporated
by reference” pursuant to sections 41 (national level) and 51 (group/regional level) - so it would be an
offence under section 95 to fail to comply with such plans.
Amendment to Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002
Add: In approving Civil Defence Emergency Management plans, the Director shall ensure that such
plans take into account the needs of individuals with companion animals prior to, during, and
following a major incident or state of emergency.
Amendment to the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan Order 2015
Add: That Civil Defence Emergency Management Group is responsible and accountable for the
development, approval and maintenance of emergency management plans in reach region for the
protection of companion animals prior to, during, and following a major incident or state of
emergency. Such a plan shall be compatible with regional animal emergency management plan
covering non-companion animals, which MPI is responsible for developing for each CDEM Group.
That MPI is responsible for the development and maintenance of a National Non-Companion Animal
Welfare Emergency Management Plan. The Minister for Primary Industries on the advice of NAWAC
and Director of Civil Defence, is responsible for approving the National Non-Companion Animal
Welfare Emergency Management Plan.
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Source: Daily Mail UK (2009). “Sam” the Koala Bear
was injured by the 2009 Victoria Bushfires. He was
rescued by David Tree, a firefighter. Sam became a
symbol of hope and human kindness.
Definitions
Companion animal and disability assist dog.
Amendment to the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002
Section 2: Interpretation
Add:
companion animals are domesticated or domestic-bred animals whose physical, emotional,
behavioural and social needs can be readily met as companions in the home, or in close daily
relationship with humans, and includes cats, dogs (including disability assist dogs), rodents, reptiles,
fish, horses, and birds; but not does include pigs, sheep, emu, ostrich, or cows. (Adapted from the
ASPCA definition [20])
Animal an animal having the same meaning pursuant to the Animal Welfare Act 1999.
Animal marking having the same meaning as marking in the Animal Welfare Act 1999.
Major Incident refer to Ministerial Review recommendations.
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Operational Response Costs
Currently, central government under the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan Order
2015 reimburses local authorities 100% for emergency welfare costs, except for animal welfare
despite it being a specified sub-function of the emergency welfare arrangements. Costs incurred by
animal charities and other supporting organisations (i.e. veterinary practices) are not eligible for
reimbursement by government. The direct cost of approximately $6,000 by the SPCA’s National
Rescue Unit deploying to Edgecumbe and leading such a massive rescue operation was not even
reimbursed. Without the goodwill of animal charities and other supporting organisations, government
is unable to meet the expectations of citizens in animal emergency response. The PETS Act 2006 made
funding available not just for response costs but also for preparedness activities within the US. Further
guidance can be found within FEMA Policy DAP9523.19 [21]. Examples of specific funding for animal
disaster response can be found in State Laws, such as those in Maine [22].
The unique relationship between animals and humans in New Zealand is intrinsic and is not merely a
property relationship. Animal organisations operate in the interests of public and human welfare and
wellbeing. The Animal Welfare Act 1999 deals directly with the relationship between animals and
their owners which is an indication that ensuring the welfare of an owned animal correlates directly
to the welfare of its owner. The purpose of emergency defence management is to ensure that the
welfare of citizens is maintained which must include providing for the welfare of animals (R. Stedman,
personal communication, September 10, 2018).
Amendment to the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan Order 2015
S. 162 Government financial support to local authorities during response
Government financial support for response activities focuses on costs incurred by local authorities
to care for directly affected companion animals, including the costs of accommodating,
transporting, registering, animal marking, rescuing, feeding, preventative immunization, disease
testing, decontamination, disposal, and emergency veterinary treatment to companion animals as a
result of an emergency; and recommissioning, cleaning and disinfection of facilities and other
resources used for such emergency response purposes.
This amendment would also need to be adapted for s.163 Government financial support to local
authorities during recovery.
Volunteer Training
For over three years now, civil defence volunteers have been able to access zero fee training through
TEC ACE funding. However, this has not been extended to those in civil defence animal welfare roles
which adds further salt to injury given that civil defence animal welfare response costs borne by animal
charities are not eligible for reimbursement by government, yet civil defence human welfare services
are able to be reimbursed 100% (and access zero fee training for volunteers). Private Training
Establishments who provide volunteer training have raised this concern for over three years with no
traction from the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management. The national arrangements
need to provide assurances that animal volunteers have equal access to such training, especially
activities that enhance health and safety. This will improve responses to future emergencies, through
physical capability, and also broader understanding of the human-animal bond that results in failure
to evacuate.
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Amendment to the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan Order 2015
S. 102 Capability development activities
Add: Volunteers from organisations who undertake an animal welfare emergency management
function, through agreement with Fire & Emergency New Zealand, a Civil Defence Emergency
Management Group, the Ministry for Primary Industries, or being mandated in the National Civil
Defence Emergency Management Plan shall be afforded the same access to civil defence volunteer
training as funded by government as those civil defence volunteers in a non-animal related function
or role.
Christchurch Earthquake 2011: The
situation for animals has been
"deteriorating because of time
issues" and is forcing concerned
animal owners to break police
cordons to search for their pets.
"That is really one of the common
problems of why people break the
cordon. It's not to go and do
burglaries . . . it's to go and retrieve
their pets.” [23].
Blair Hillyard, Rescue Officer
SPCA National Rescue Unit
General Emergency Powers
The current Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 does not have an animal inclusive
structure to allow for rescue, care, shelter, and essential needs for companion animals. This provision
also ensures public transport can be directed to take companion animals to improve evacuation
compliance.
It is important to the note that section 6 of the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002, states
that the act does not affect the powers, duties or functions of other acts. This includes not affecting
the duties and powers that inspectors have under the Animal Welfare Act 1999, including the power
to enter property (s.127), power to mitigate suffering including giving notice to animal owners or those
in charge of such animals (s.130(1)(b)) and the power to take animals at risk of imminent harm into
possession (s.127(5(c)). Furthermore, the obstruction or hindering of an inspector (s.159) or failing to
comply with requirements made by an inspector (s.130(2)) is an offence.
The Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 has the purpose (s.3) to
(a) improve and promote the sustainable management of hazards (as that term is defined in this
Act) in a way that contributes to the social, economic, cultural, and environmental well-being
and safety of the public and also to the protection of property; and,
(c) provide for planning and preparation for emergencies and for response and recovery in the
event of an emergency; and
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As animals are legally considered as property, they should be afforded protection consistent to the
act’s purpose.
Amendment to the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002
s.85 Emergency Powers
Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups may:
Add: Provide for the rescue, care, treatment, shelter, transport, and essential needs of animals, and
carry out animal marking.
Evacuation
As per above. The current principles of evacuation as provided for in the National Civil Defence
Emergency Management Plan (s.140). The vagueness of principles gives good reason for specific
statute law for protection of animals as implemented in the US through the passage of the PETS Act
2006. Recommended amendments are based on US laws [24].
Amendment to the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002
s.86 Evacuation
Change: evacuation requirements for preservation of “human or animal life”.
Amendment to the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan Order 2015
s.140
Add: Principles (mass evacuation)
(iv) Where companion animals are left behind in evacuation area, that efforts to rescue such
animals and reunify them with their owners, shall be a priority to prevent the illegal return of
owners to the evacuated area.
(v) every effort must be made to keep disability assist dogs and their owners together in cases of
emergency. Those who rely on disability assist dogs must be evacuated, transported, and
sheltered together with their service animal. Facilities that provide shelter to people with
disabilities are obligated to provide shelter to both the disabled person and the disability
assistance dog.
No more should you ever hear evacuate
and leave your animals behind. You got a
plan for it. And if you go through our
preparedness information, you’re going to
find, we made that a big deal. You got pets,
they’re in the family plan. If you evacuate,
take your pets with you” [25]
Craig Fugate, FEMA Administrator
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Entry onto premises
As per above.
Amendment to the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002
s.87 Entry onto premises
(a) saving life, preventing injury, or rescuing and removing injured or endangered persons or
animals; or
(b) permitting or facilitating the carrying out of any urgent measure for the relief of suffering or
distress to people or animals.
Amendment to the Animal Welfare Act 1999
s.127(3) Dwelling: No inspector may, under subsection (1), enter in or on any dwelling or marae
unless he or she is authorised to do so by a search warrant issued under section 131.
Add (3)(a) A dwelling may be entered without a search warrant for civil defence purposes, when
during a state of emergency that property has been subject to direction to evacuate by a controller
or constable.
Source: Steve Apps, The Post-Crescent, Appleton: Weyauwega, Wisconsin.
In 1996, a dangerous goods train derailed and forced the evacuation of the entire township of
Weyauwega (above). About half the households left their pets behind. Half the owners attempted to
breach the cordon to rescue their pets, and only after a bomb threat was made to the emergency
operations centre, the state governor became involved and ordered the National Guard with
armoured personnel carriers to effect an animal rescue [6], [26].
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Requisitioning powers
As above
Amendment to Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002
Section 91 Requisitioning Powers
Change: This section applies if a state of emergency is in force and, in the opinion of a Controller or a
constable, the action authorised by this section is necessary for the preservation of human and
animal life.
Microchip Databases
Currently, there are two national databases for microchip records in NZ. The NZ Companion Animal
Register (owned by the NZ Companion Animal Trust) and the National Dog Database operated by the
Department of Internal Affairs, the later established under the Dog Control Act. However, despite
lobbying by the NZCAR and the Institute of Animal Control Officers NZ, DIA has refused to allow the
sharing of information between these systems which results in delays in reuniting and duplication of
services. These databases need to be able to share information in the interest of animal welfare and
improve government electronic services to citizens. The rapid and effective -reuniting of animals with
their owners, in particular disability assist dogs is critical to preventing owners returning to disaster
affected areas and minimising negative psycho-social impacts on people.
There has also been concern raised by animal welfare and care professionals, that it is common that
they observe cases where companion animals (but not dogs due to mandatory registration) have been
microchipped, but registration (with the NZ Companion Animal Register) has not been completed,
leaving an animal with an electronic number and no record to reconcile with. This further reduces the
effectiveness of reuniting of animals in emergencies and it is recommended that for non-dog
companion animals.
Amendment to the Dog Control Act 1996
s.35 Supply of information
Any approved organisation should be included in the list of organisations who can access dog
registration information.
A Controller, during a state of emergency should be included in the list of organisations who can
access dog registration information.
And any other organisation or person gazetted by the Minister.
New section
s.35A A organisation gazetted by the Minister (i.e. NZCAR) may be granted access to data contained
on the National Dog Database as such conditions the Minister imposes for the reuniting and welfare
of animals. Where such access is granted, the Secretary of Department of Internal Affairs may cover
such costs in doing so from levies collected under section 35B.
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Amendment to the Animal Welfare Act 1999
Add: A person commits an offence who, implants a microchip into a companion animal (not being a
dog) and fails to register the animal on the gazetted microchip register (i.e. NZCAR). This section
does not apply to
(a) animals being used for research, teaching and training, under an approved code of ethics.
(b) any person or organisation that has a written notice of exemption issued by the Director-General.
Personation of disability assist dogs
There is a global trend of dog owners impersonating that their dog is a disability assist dog to allow
them to access public places and transport. This also has occurred in NZ emergencies with owners
attempting to bring their dogs inside human evacuation shelters inappropriately [7]. This undermines
the legitimacy of genuine disability assist dogs [27][29]. To help minimise this, a civil defence dog tag
was introduced to help civil defence workers easily identify legitimate service dogs given there is no
standardised identification system for such animals [29]. The Human Rights Act has provisions for
Guide Dogs, but this is inconsistent to the wider application of “disability assist dog” as contained in
the Dog Control Act.
Amendment to Human Rights Act 1993
S.21 Prohibited grounds of discrimination
Change: Substitute guide dog for disability assist dog, having the same meaning under the Dog
Control Act 1996.
Amendment to Dog Control Act 1996
New section: 75A Impersonation of disability assist dog (new)
A person commits an offence who intentionally personates or falsely represents or identifies their
dog to be a disability assist dog (and add to Schedule 1: Infringeable Offences). For the purposes of
this act, any use of a similar term such as service dog shall also be considered as personating a
disability assistance dog.
New section: 75B Identification of disability assist dogs (new)
The Minister may gazette a form of identification to identify disability assist dogs, in consultation
with certifying organisations at that time.
In respect to the Canterbury earthquakes: “Christchurch didn’t go smoothly from what I saw and
heard. More animals than resources. People turned up to the welfare centre with animals and were
told to take them to SPCA, but had no transport to get them there, and were more or less just turned
away. At one stage when I was manager at a welfare centre I had to do battle as there was a woman
with a hearing dog, not only that the woman had mental health issues. I had to fight to get the staff
to let them in, then the other staff kept trying to remove her. They had all never heard of a hearing
dog before, great learning for them, however extremely traumatic for the woman who spent hours in
tears” (confidential personal communication, 2010) [7].
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Service dog identification is easily available online to purchase and contributes to personification of
legitimate disability assistance dogs.
Source: Amazon website (2018).
Failing to prevent harm and protect animals from hazards
The majority of animal welfare laws have a statutory defence under codes of welfares or in times of
emergency or stress. Emergency is not defined in the Animal Welfare Act 1999. It is important that
owner responsibility during an emergency does not necessarily stop where there are reasonable
opportunities to prevent harm. In Texas, their state law makes it an offence to tether a dog during
extreme weather and where weather warnings are in place [30] this is one of the best animal disaster
laws noted.
Amendment to the Animal Welfare Act 1999
Add: s.14A Duty to protect companion animals in emergencies
(1) A person commits an offence who, being the owner of, or a person in charge of, a companion
animal, without reasonable excuse or having taken reasonable steps, fails to protect a companion
animal from harm, caused by or likely to be caused by extreme weather conditions or an emergency.
(2) In a prosecution for an offence against section 14A(1) committed after the commencement of
this subsection, evidence that a relevant code of emergency welfare was in existence at the time of
the alleged offence and that a relevant minimum standard established by that code was not
complied with is rebuttable evidence that the person charged with the offence failed to comply with,
or contravened, the provision of this Act to which the offence relates.
(3) Subject to subsection (4), it is a defence in any prosecution for an offence against section 14A(1)
if the defendant proves
(a) that, in relation to the animal to which the prosecution relates, the defendant took all reasonable
steps to comply with section 14A(1); or
(b) that there was in existence at the time of the alleged offence a relevant code of emergency
welfare and that the minimum standards established by the code of emergency welfare were in all
respects equalled or exceeded.
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(4) Except with the leave of the court, subsection (3) does not apply unless, within 7 days after the
service of the summons, or within such further time as the court may allow, the defendant has
delivered to the prosecutor a written notice
(a) stating that the defendant intends to rely on subsection (3); and
(b) specifying
(i) where the defendant intends to rely on subsection (3)(a), the reasonable steps that the defendant
will claim to have taken; or
(ii) where the defendant intends to rely on subsection (3)(b), the code of emergency welfare that
was in existence at the time of the alleged offence, and the facts that show that the minimum
standards established by that code of emergency welfare were in all respects equalled or exceeded.
(5). Nothing in this section requires the owner or person in charge of a companion animal to return
to an evacuated area to retrieve their animal where such an area remains under the control of a
constable or controller or the area remains unsafe to do so.
Add definition in section 2. Interpretation
Extreme weather includes but not limited to conditions in which:
(a) the actual or effective outdoor temperature is below freezing point; or
(b) an actual storm, flood or tornado or such an event where a weather warning has been issued.
Amendment to Dog Control Act 1996
s.54A Obligations of dog owner during extreme weather (new)
Add: (1) A person commits an offence who, being the owner of, or a person in charge of, a dog,
without reasonable excuse or having taken reasonable steps, leaves a dog outside unattended by
use of a restraint including a tether or cage, that unreasonably limits the dog’s movement and to
access a place of safety:
(a) in the case of extreme weather conditions, or
(b) in an area that has been required to evacuate during an emergency
(2) Nothing in this section requires the owner or person in charge of a dog to return to an evacuated
area to retrieve their dog where such an area remains under the control of a constable or controller
or the area remains unsafe to do so.
Add to schedule 1 (Infringeable offences)
Add definition: Extreme weather includes but not limited to conditions in which
(a) the actual or effective outdoor temperature is below freezing point;
(b) an actual storm, flood or tornado or such an event where a warning has been issued
Add definition: Controller means a controller appointed under sections 10, 26 or 27 of the Civil
Defence Emergency Management Act 2002.
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Tethering of dogs during extreme weather such as
flooding is illegal in the State of Texas. With no means to
escape, these dogs are prone to drowning as this dog did
during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Codes of Ethics
Laboratory animals in particular are particularly vulnerable to disaster, often relying on automated
environmental, food and water systems [6], [31]. If such facilities are disaster affected, it is common
that those in charge of the animals are unable to access them.
S.88(2)(h) new section for code of ethics contents
Add: Specify emergency management arrangements to protect animals from the impacts of natural
and technological hazards appropriate to the research and facilities.
Dog Control Bylaws
The Dog Control Act 1996 provides for local authorities to set bylaws mainly for matters pertaining to
exercise areas and the like. However, in a state of emergency it would be appropriate to allow the
Controller the power to make temporary variations to allow for traditional dog free areas such as
sports fields or other public places, to be used for emergency exercise and/or accommodation areas.
If off-leash bylaws were ignored during an emergency, it may create legal and political liability around
any damage caused by dogs that would normally be banned in such areas [11].
Amendment to Dog Control Act 1996
s.20 (2A) Emergency bylaws (new)
Add: During a state of emergency or major incident under the Civil Defence Emergency Management
Act 2002, the Controller may pass, cease, suspend or modify bylaws under this section if required for
the control and welfare of dogs and these shall only have effect while the state of emergency is in
effect.
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Dog Control Jurisdiction
Dog Control Officers and Dog Rangers may only exercise their powers within their respective local
authority boundary. There is provision to allow for councils to allow other council officers to exercise
powers in their area [11]. This is suitable for day to day contractual arrangements for cover, but
cumbersome in an emergency where establishing such agreements may not expedient.
Amendment to Dog Control Act 1996
s.16(3) Districts in which dog control officer or dog ranger may exercise powers
Add: During a state of emergency or major incident under the Civil Defence Emergency Management
Act 2002, the powers of any dog control officer and dog ranger shall extend to local authority or
authorities to which the declaration applies to.
Power to seize
The power to take into possession an animal at risk from imminent harm is provided for under section
127(5)(c) of the Animal Welfare Act 1999, however it is limited to inspectors and requires a notice of
entry to be left which during a major incident or emergency may not be practical. The Civil Defence
Emergency Management Act 2002 has provisions to seize an animal, by anyone directed by the
Controller or Constable, but no disposal provisions have been made in the act causing a significant
legal issue [11].
Amendment to Dog Control Act 1996
Section: 15A Emergency powers of dog control officers and dog rangers (new)
Add: During a state of emergency or major incident under the Civil Defence Emergency Management
Act 2002, a dog control officer or dog ranger may enter upon any property including any dwelling
house for the purposes of seizing a dog that is at risk of imminent harm.
Holding periods
The American Bar Association as a result of the issues following Hurricane Katrina developed a model
law for states to adopt, that clarified the provisions for disposal of disaster displaced animals [32]. The
key element of the law is that stray hold periods were extended to 30 days. Many states have adopted
the model law including the state of Oklahoma [33].
Amendment to Dog Control Act 1996
S69 Impounding, s15(1)(c) Dogs Seized and 15A Emergency Powers (new)
Where a dog is impounded or seized within the area declared under a state of emergency or major
incident under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002, the holding period shall be
extended from 7 days to 30 days; and the dog shall also be advertised on a lost and found database
as gazetted by the Minister of Civil Defence.
Amendment to the Animal Welfare Act 1999
S.141 Duties of approved organisations
Add: Where an animal is taken into custody of an approved organisation and that animal is believed
to come from within the area declared under a state of emergency or major incident under the Civil
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Defence Emergency Management Act 2002, the holding period shall be extended from 7 days to 30
days; and the animal shall also be advertised on a lost and found database as gazetted by the Minister
of Civil Defence.
Amendment to Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002
S.92A Disposal of property seized (new)
Where property or another other thing excluding an animal is seized under section 92, the Civil
Defence Emergency Management Group may dispose of it as deemed fit upon termination of the
emergency. Where an animal is seized under section 92, is shall be delivered to an approved
organisation (Animal Welfare Act 1999) and disposed of under the provisions of section 141 (noting
the 30 day hold period would apply).
Humane Trapping
Following evacuations in particular, it is common for some animals to be left behind for various
reasons. Given these areas are often cordoned off to the public, these animals can stray and are
exposed to many hazards without any monitoring of their health or wellbeing. Leaving animals in-situ
and feeding them creates numerous challenges such as blurring of who become the legal person in
charge, encourages rodents and other vermin. Feeding in-situ may also become a public health issue.
Currently, there are no laws to provide for humane trapping which expedites reuniting of pets with
their owners, prevents owners from returning (often illegally) to rescue their pets and ensures owners
remain responsible for the ongoing care of their animals [11]. Feeding in-situ is also very time and
resource intensive, and best left for special circumstances such as aggressive dogs or large numbers
of caged animals (large aviaries etc). In a world first, we can provide for post-disaster humane
trapping.
Amendment to Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002
s.92B Emergency humane trapping (new)
During a state of emergency, the Controller may direct suitably qualified or experienced persons to
undertake the humane trapping of disaster displaced animals within the affected area. Animals
caught in such traps, shall be delivered to the custody of an approved organisation.
Such direction does not limit the obligations under section 36 (Inspection of traps) of the Animal
Welfare Act 1999.
Section 94N would also need to be amended to reflect this power during the transition period and
authorise the Recovery Manager similar power.
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Animal Establishment Emergency Plans
Animal establishments as defined in the Animal Welfare Act means a place at which animals are used
or held in the charge of any person, and which has, as its principal purpose, the using or holding of
animals for display, sport, entertainment, temporary care, sale, conservation, scientific study, or other
activity. Currently there is no obligation to ensure plans are in place to afford them protection. In
mandating such plans, this will remove a large burden from government and the community should
these establishments be unprepared and become impacted from disaster [11]. Specific laws to
mandate animal establishment emergency planning are currently before US Congress [34] and already
in place in some states such as Louisiana (RS 29:726):
“Require animal shelters, humane societies, veterinary offices, boarding kennels, breeders, grooming
facilities, hospitals, schools, animal testing facilities, and any other businesses or not-for-profit
agencies that normally house household pets or service animals to create evacuation plans for such
animals consistent with the provisions of this Paragraph. Such plans shall be made available to the
public upon request and shall be filed annually with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and
Forestry, office of animal health and food safety, and with their respective parish office of homeland
security and emergency preparedness”.
Amendment to the Animal Welfare Act 1999
New section. s.29A Emergency Plans. Every animal establishment shall develop and maintain an
emergency management plan that:
(1) Identifies the hazards that may threaten or impact the establishment
(2) Provides for the reasonable mitigation of such hazards
(3) Specifies actions and responsibilities in the event of an emergency arising from such hazards
(4) Is appropriate to the size and scale of the establishment
(5) Details how the welfare of animals within the establishment is provided for
(6) Specifies the training, exercising and review requirements to ensure the plan is effective and
maintained.
(7) Meets the requirements prescribed by a standard for such plans, as set by the Director-General.
Each plan shall be available for inspection at any reasonable time, by an Inspector or Auditor
appointed under the act.
The Director-General may exempt types or individual animal establishments, after consulting
NAWAC.
The Director-General may develop a standard for animal establishment emergency plans, after
consulting with NAWAC.
Amendment to the Animal Welfare (Care & Procedures) Regulations 2018
Add 49A Emergency Plans
The owner of, and every person in charge of an animal establishment must provide request a copy of
the establishment’s emergency plan for inspection by an Inspector or Auditor, unless an exemption
is in place.
A person who fails to comply with this regulation commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a
fine not exceeding $1,500.
The offence in subclause is an infringement offence with an infringement fee of $500.
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Source: Sunday Star-Times (12 September 2010):
Around 3,000 birds were killed or required to be destroyed after caging stacks at the Weedon Poultry
Farm failed during the September 2010 (Darfield) earthquake. The Army were called into assist. This
is often the case where producers do not have confidence in animal rights groups to assist in
emergency response. In 2000, several tornadoes struck layer hen sheds at the Buck Eye Egg farm in
Ohio. Over million hens became injured or trapped in storm damaged cages. Many were buried injured
and alive, despite crude attempts at euthanasia [6]. It was clear this major facility had little emergency
management plans including mitigation in place.
NAWAC membership
The Animal Welfare Act 1999 specifies the requirements for membership of the National Animal
Welfare Advisory Committee. Should this mechanism be continued under the new coalition
government, then there are some deficiencies that should be. Given climate change, it is likely there
will be more climatic events like Edgecumbe. With intensification of farming practices, more animals
will be vulnerable to disaster. It is likely that more animals will suffer from these events, than from
neglect or cruelty meaning the Minister’s advisory panel needs to have the expertise to advise the
Minister on such matters [11]. Additionally, given the need to encourage more animal shelters to be
compliant with disposal laws, there should be an increase in approved organisations (not necessarily
with enforcement powers) and these should be fairly represented and not purely the domain of a
single animal welfare charity. NAWAC should be solely an animal advocacy voice and leaving the remit
of other considerations such as cultural practices, rural communities with other advocacy processes.
Amendment to the Animal Welfare Act 1999
s.58 NAWAC Membership
Change: s.58(1) National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee consists of not more than 14
(increased from 11).
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(3) The Minister must, in making appointments under subsection (2)(b), have regard to the need for
the Committee to possess knowledge and experience in the following areas:
(j) Animal disaster management
(k) Operation as an Approved Organisation
Mandated Organisations
Under the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan Order 2015, the SPCA is only
mandated to assist the owners of companion animals to mitigate suffering. The CDEM Act 2002 does
not define the mitigation of suffering. The legislative term mitigation of suffering is found within the
Animal Welfare Act 1999 and provides inspectors the power to undertake or direct the humane
destruction of animals that are sick or injured under section 130. This function as per the National
CDEM Plan Order 2015, could continue given under the plan the SPCA’s only mandated function is to
assist owners of companion animals to mitigate suffering. There is no other mandated function upon
the SPCA such as temporary accommodation of companion animals. The mandated function of
companion animal care, relocation and accommodation is bestowed upon the local authority through
their animal control service. The SPCA has no mandated function for reuniting companion animals,
nor any function for non-companion animals such as laboratory animals or livestock under current
civil defence arrangements [11]. Should the SPCA not guarantee a response capability or is
overwhelmed, which the latter is more likely, government has an obligation to ensure the legislative
framework has contingencies and encourages all relevant community groups to be part of disaster
resilience in accordance with its national civil defence emergency management strategy. Given that
more animal welfare groups should be encouraged to improve their compliance with the Animal
Welfare Act in regard to rehoming of abandoned animals in particular, the National CDEM Plan Order
should take an inclusive approach and not be charity specific. The exclusion of other animal groups
will likely result in major fragmentation such as in Hurricane Katrina where over 120 charities
descended into the affected area, with over 50 temporary shelters being set up without any
integration or information sharing [2], [35] ultimately leading to reuniting failure and reduced animal
welfare outcomes.
The proposed arrangement future proofs the legislative framework for changes in participating
organisations and sets expectations for all approved organisations to have responsibilities during an
emergency. At the National Hui on Animal Welfare held in Auckland on 8th of June 2018, many other
charities raised their concerns of the lack of collaboration and engagement by the SPCA as well as
animal welfare advice concerns given by the society [36]. The SPCA Chief Executive has also made
comment in the media that centres around the country were about to reach crisis point and “we can’t
take in any more animals” [37], highlighting a significant risk for the government to rely on an already
overburdened on a day to day basis, let alone an emergency.
Amendment to National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan Order 2015
S.75(3) Animal Welfare (amend)
Approved Organisations (RNZSPCA) under the Animal Welfare Act 1999, to provide direct support and
co-ordination services to companion animal owners to assist in mitigating animal suffering as a result
of an emergency OR If RNZSPCA to remain then ADD Animal Evac New Zealand Trust may provide
assistance to any civil defence emergency management group, local authority or any other agency in
the National CDEM Plan Order in the interest of animal welfare, in particular the evacuation,
temporary sheltering and reuniting of animals.
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Registration of displaced dogs
The Dog Control Act 1996 has been written with only reference to the “Societies for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals”, which is somewhat outdated given some of the largest animal shelters are now
run by other charities such as HUHA. In line with previous recommendations to move to neutral
terminology and create redundancy in animal disaster care capacity, the Dog Control Act 1999 should
be modernised to refer only to “approved organisations”. This would then allow other organisations
to hold disaster displaced dogs, without an obligation to have them registered whilst in custody. To
some degree, where such organisations are operating under local authority dog control during an
emergency to operate an animal shelter, they are not obligated to have all dogs within their care
registered. However, to avoid any ambiguity, section 42 (offence for failing to register dog) of the Dog
Control Act 1996 should be updated. The section also requires dogs to be registered at the time of
release or before being returned to the owner, however this may not be appropriate during an
emergency and an exemption is sought.
Amendment to Dog Control Act 1996
s.42 Offence of failing to register dog
(3)(c) keeping the dog in the custody of an approved organisation under the Animal Welfare Act 2002
pending the dog’s—
(i) recovery by its owner; or
(ii) disposal to a new owner.
(4) However,
(b) Except during a state of emergency, a person to whom subsection (3)(b) or subsection (3)(c) applies
must not dispose of a dog (other than by destroying it), unless the dog is first registered under this
Act.
Animal Population Data/Census
Effective emergency planning requires animal population data to underpin assumptions in planning
and response, as recommended by the OIE emergency management guideline [38]. Currently, animal
population data is fragmented and no organisation taking the lead to collate such information from
the range of sources including MPI, Statistics NZ, National Dog Database, NZ Companion Animal
Register, and the NZ Companion Animal Council Census. It is recommended that MPI (or statistics NZ)
is responsible for provide animal census data for emergency management purposes and collating such
data from the range of sources.
Amendment to National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan Order 2015
S.75(3) Animal Welfare (amend)
The Ministry for Primary Industries is responsible for the periodic publication of local, regional and
national animal population statistics. The Ministry is also responsible for the supply of data for
emergency management purposes to Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups.
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Destruction of Animals
The destruction of animals during emergencies is highly emotional and fraught with political risk. An
example of this was St Bernard Parish during Hurricane Katrina where two Sherriff Deputies shot and
maimed numerous pets that were told to be left behind at a community assembly point. The shooting
was allegedly done inhumanely, and photographs of the crime scene painted a horrific blood bath.
The Deputies were indicted on serious animal cruelty charges; however, the case was withdrawn due
a technicality [8], [35], [39]. The provisions with the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002
provide out-dated and draconian powers for the unbridled destruction of animals. Should there be
grounds to destroy animals due to sickness or injury, such provisions already exist under the Animal
Welfare Act 1999. It would be appropriate to only provide powers to electively destroy animals under
strict conditions, such as limiting this power to the Controller (not any constable) and in consultation
with an Animal Welfare Inspector.
Amendment to Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002
S.92 Power to inspect
No animal shall be destroyed under this enactment, unless authorised by a Controller who has
consulted an Inspector appointed under section 124(2) of the Animal Welfare Act 1999 or
veterinarian.
“I promise you, that I will hold anyone accountable that unlawfully restrains their dog in extreme
weather conditions,” “Dogs are your family members too.” [40]
Roman Forest City Chief Stephen Carlisle
“Animal abuse in Texas will be met with harsher punishment starting in September. A law was passed
that will hold abusers accountable for up to a decade in prison if found guilty. That means that if the
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Texans that chained their animals up in Hurricane Harvey are found, they could fall under this law
and spend ten years in prison[41].
Deceased companion animals
In Hurricane Katrina more than 90% of animals left behind died. In the Edgecumbe 2017 flood, the
SPCA’s protocol was to recover deceased companion animals where possible at the time of the search
to reduce the degradation of the body and to expedite the closure of the loss for the owner. This in
turn, created significant goodwill with the community and removed, in many cases, the desire to
breach the cordons to find their animal. This best practice should be should be included into the
legislative arrangements to improve future responses [11].
Amendment to National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan Order 2015
S.75(3) Animal Welfare (amend)
Notwithstanding section 85(1)(g), the local authority shall be responsible for the collection of
deceased companion animals and in doing so should check for animal markings to enable
notification to the owner or an approved organisation.
Removal of dog collars
During Hurricane Katrina it was observed that some volunteers involved in searching for and rescuing
animals left behind, intentionally removed collars and other identification in an attempt to reduce the
likelihood of reuniting with the owner, as they believed the owners were of bad character to have
abandoned their animals in the first place [2]. Though the Dog Control Act has provisions for the
prohibiting the removal of collars to deceive, it may not be sufficient to cover the intent to minimise
reuniting, nor does it prevent removal of collars that do not bear a registration disc (i.e. a dog collar
without a registration disc but has a phone number tag could be removed currently without offence).
This offence also only applies to dogs and cats may be subject to the indirect abuse of having their
identification removed.
Amendment to the Animal Welfare Act 1999
s.29 Further offences
A person commits an offence who
Add: (i) removes any collar, disc or animal marking from an animal during a major incident or state of
emergency, with the wilful intent to hindering the reuniting of that animal to its owner.
Emergency Accommodation
In the recovery phase after an emergency, experience has shown nationally [42] and internationally
[43] that rental accommodation availability reduces in disaster affected areas due to damage of homes
and dwellings. The lack of pet-friendly rental accommodation associated with this contributes to
unnecessary euthanasia of companion animals, adding to the trauma (and guilt) of those already
affected by disaster and removes an often trusted and existing source of psychosocial support [42].
New Zealand has been proactive in being more pet-inclusive in our society with recent changes to
Housing New Zealand policies and companion animals able to be taken on public transport (in
Wellington). New Zealand has an opportunity to create world leading animal emergency management
laws that protect the family unit following a disaster. This would be achieved by making it illegal to
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discriminate against a tenant for rental properties, based on companion animal ownership during a
recovery transition period. This will lead to better mental health and animal welfare outcomes.
Amendment to Residential Tenancies Act 1986
S.12 Discrimination to be an unlawful act
A landlord shall not, in respect of the grant, continuance, extension, variation, termination, or
renewal of a tenancy agreement,
Add: (c) Discriminate against any person on the basis of companion animal ownership while a
transition period is in effect under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002; and where
the owner has as written certificate or statement issued by a veterinarian that confirms the animal’s
suitability to reside in the property being tenanted.
Add: (5) Nothing in section 12 (1)(d) shall apply tenancies involving dogs classified as menacing or
dangerous under the Dog Control Act 1996.
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Political Leadership
Under the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan Order, the government’s high-level
crisis coordination mechanisms are explained including the National Security Committee (NSC),
Officials Domestic & External Security Committee (ODESC) and Watch Groups. The vagueness may be
well placed, however it was clear in events such as Edgecumbe that animal welfare which a major
issue for government, did not have sufficient representation at these meetings [10]. The Minister
responsible for animal welfare should by default be invited to NSC, and the Director General of MPI
should be attending ODESC. It would be appropriate to clarify the expected membership for civil
defence emergencies on these groups, especially given all significant emergencies in the past decade
have had major animal related issues that went largely unresolved and have a negative impact on
animal welfare and community wellbeing. The absence of robust review, debriefing and after action
reporting within MPI’s animal emergency management processes also draws concern [9], [10], [44],
despite obligations under section 158 of the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan
Order 2015.
Credit: Associated Press. Case Study: The 2016 Kaikoura Earthquake made news headlines with the
world more concerned about the fate of the three cows stuck on a landslide island, than the impact
on the human population. The way we treat and respond to animals in disaster is a reflection on our
society and reputation.
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Other Socio-Zoologically Vulnerable Animals
Following the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake, GNS Scientist Kevin Berryman observed the seabed was
vertically displaced some 6 metres along the coastline, rendering trapped crabs, fish and paua unable
to return to the water [45]. Other media reports corroborated these observations with crayfish and
lobster also being observed as stranded by the uplift and despite public officials warnings not to,
community members returned to relocate the sea life back into water [46]. There was significant
backlash by the public to the government direction to stop the sea life rescue attempts. A Ministry for
Primary Industries fisheries officer threatening to arrest the paua rescue volunteers [47]. With
hundreds if not thousands of crabs, lobsters, fish and crayfish stranded and dying, no government
agency took responsibility for the welfare of these animals, despite them being afforded the same
protections under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 as companion animals (acknowledging that paua are
not classified as animals and therefore not protected under the Animal Welfare Act 1999).
Simplistically, the government sets the maximum number of fish that can be legally taken from the
sea through a quota system or allowable catch. The efforts by the public to rescue the fish where
treated as breaches of fishing quota by officials, whereas in many cases, people were acting in the
interests of animal welfare. It is unclear whether the provisions of section 16 (emergency measures)
would be effective in enabling rescue of fish, those protected under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 or
otherwise. In effect, there is no agency or body responsible for the welfare of these animals during an
emergency and this legislative gap needs to be addressed.
Amendment to National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan Order 2015
S.75(3) Animal Welfare (amend)
The Ministry of Primary Industries is responsible for the welfare of fish, lobster, octopus, squid and
crayfish found in a natural state or any other species that the Minister directs, where such animal’s
welfare is compromised during a state of emergency or major incident.
MPI shall include such responsibilities in the National Animal Welfare Emergency Management Plan
they will be responsible for.
Code of Emergency Animal Welfare
The Animal Welfare Act 1999 allows for Codes of Welfare to be set that set minimum standards for
animals. However, a person where prosecuted under section 12 or 29(a) of the Animal Welfare Act
(where most offences fall) has a defence to these section’s statutory liability, should “the act or
omission constituting the offence took place in circumstances of stress or emergency, and was
necessary for the preservation, protection, or maintenance of human life”.
The terms stress and emergency are not defined in the Animal Welfare Act 1999. This means, the
Codes are ineffective in setting minimum standards for emergency situations. There is also significant
research to suggest that in reality, protecting animals leads to protecting humans, so the clause
around necessary for the protection of human life may be conflicted.
Therefore, it is recommended that the Minister may issue a Code of Emergency Animal Welfare, that
sits outside the strict liability and statutory defence provisions [11].
A new Code of Welfare (Temporary Housing of Animals) was issued in September 2018. The code
states the code does not apply “temporary housing of companion animals in temporary emergency
shelters during civil defence and other emergency situations” [48, p. 5], yet it sets a minimum standard
(#15: Contingency Planning) “Staff must be suitably trained to respond to an emergency that could
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have a detrimental effect on the animals in the temporary housing facility” [48]. In effect failing to
provide this renders the standard invalid.
Without the Animal Welfare Act 1999 providing an offence for failing to have a contingency plan (as
recommended in this report under Animal Establishment Emergency Plans), the minimum standard is
benign and unenforceable.
It would appear the consultation process and legal review of the Code has been sub-optimal, and the
drafting of the code has been done as if it's legislation without providing for situations of emergency
under the Animal Welfare Act 1999. Such processes require further attention.
Amendment to the Animal Welfare Act 1999
s.79A Codes of Emergency Welfare (new)
The Minister may issue a Code of Emergency Welfare (using the same process as that specified for a
Code of Welfare) to establish minimum standards of animal welfare during emergency situations.
Sponsorship restrictions
Some major animal charities have commercial agreements around brand association, which may
become restrictive in an emergency and prevent other suppliers from actively participating in
emergency response in the interest of animal welfare. It is important that expectations on such
suppliers are managed, in that any such agreement should not impeded the provision of relief during
a state of emergency. This issue may extend to non-animal relief provision in an emergency also.
Amendment to Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002
S.92C Contracts not to affect relief (new)
No contract or agreement shall impede the effective provision of functions, powers, or duties under
this enactment.
Local authority to be an approved organisation in an emergency
The National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan Order 2015 places responsibility for
companion animal emergency care, transportation and accommodation on local authorities.
However, unlike an approved organisation they do not have any legal provisions for the disposal of
animals other than dogs, and even then, only for dogs that have been impounded for being stray or
seized due to offences under the act. This is a major oversight by the responsible departments [11].
Though any organisation including local authorities could apply to the Minister to become an
Approved Organisation, this would be cumbersome given the large number of authorities and not all
may want to have the wider scope of duties associated with being an approved organisation on a day
to day basis. Therefore, it is recommended that during a state of emergency or major incident, that
the local authority is by default an approved organisation for the purposes of carrying out their
mandated function under the National CDEM Plan Order; and that Dog Control Officers and Dog
Ranges are by office, deemed Auxiliary Officers under the Animal Welfare Act to allow for compliance
associated with disposal of animals.
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Amendment to the Animal Welfare Act 1999
s.121 (1A) Approved Organisations
Add: The local authority shall be deemed an Approved Organisation during a major incident, state of
emergency or transition period as defined by the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002,
for the sole purpose of carrying out their function specified in the National Civil Defence Emergency
Management Plan Order, unless the Minister approves otherwise through an application received
under section 122.
S.2 Interpretation
Auxiliary Officer includes by virtue of appointment under the Dog Control Act 1996 any Dog Control
Officer or Dog Ranger during a major incident, state of emergency or transition period as defined by
the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002.
Reinforcing existing powers of Inspectors not affected
During the Christchurch quake and Edgecumbe Flood events, it was evident that response agencies
had little to no knowledge of the powers of an inspector, pursuant to the Animal Welfare Act [10] and
in several cases, government officials hindered or obstructed them in their duty and power to enter
premises to take into possession animals at risk of imminent harm (s.127(5)(C)). Under the Civil
Defence Emergency Management Act 2002, it is made very clear in section 6, the CDEM act does not
limit the powers under other enactment.
Amendment to National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan Order 2015
S.75 Animal Welfare
Add: Nothing in this plan shall limit the powers, duties or functions of Inspectors or Auxiliaries
appointed under the Animal Welfare Act 1999, or Dog Control Officers or Dog Rangers appointed
under the Dog Control Act 199.
Notice of entry requirement during an emergency
Animal Welfare Inspectors on a day to day basis, exercise significant powers similar that to a Constable
(only minus the power to arrest or detain a vehicle). They are however required to leave a notice of
entry where they enter upon a property, including for taking an animal into possession where it is at
risk of imminent harm. In large scale disasters, this administrative requirement may impede the
expeditious rescue of animals. Though there are some provisions under section 131(4)(b) of the Search
and Surveillance Act 2012 for such notices to be given to occupiers within 7 days if not practical to
serve at the time of entry, during a large-scale event, this administrative obligation may become
burdensome and not appropriate for non-compliance “rescue” activities. The removal of such an
obligation would be consistent to the Fire & Emergency Management Act 2017 and Civil Defence
Emergency Management Act 2002, that both do not mandate notices of entry to be served for similar
lifesaving powers. It is recommended that during a state of emergency, this mandatory requirement
be relaxed. With the increased requirements recommended under this report, any animal rescued will
be required to be recorded on one central/national database to make reuniting efficient.
No animal left behind: Animal inclusive emergency management reform
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Amendment to the Animal Welfare Act 1999
s.129 Notice of Entry
Change: Except for during a state of emergency, if the person in charge of the land, premises, or
place or the vehicle, aircraft, or ship, as the case may be, is not present at the time at which a power
of entry is exercised, without warrant, under section 127, the inspector must leave in a prominent
place on the land, premises, or place or in or on the vehicle, aircraft, or ship a written statement
Power to microchip during an emergency
Following the 2011 quake the NZCAR
provided support services to SPCA
Canterbury. In a 12 week period we dealt
with over 24,000 phone calls and faxes
and placed over 800 ads for chipped and
non-chipped pets. Of the hundreds of
animals we dealt with we managed to get
25% of non-chipped pets home within 2 to
3 days. However we managed to get over
85% of microchipped pets home in under
3 hours.” [49]
Amendment to the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002
s.92D Power to mark animal (new)
During a state of emergency, an Inspector or Auxiliary Officer may cause an animal to be marked
(refer definition: animal marking).
Public transportation of companion animals
As a result of the experiences of Hurricane Katrina, the Pet Emergency & Transportation Standards
Act 2006 introduced the requirement that the transportation of pets be included in emergency
arrangements. Hunt et. al. (2011) found that an “inability to transport a pet during an emergency and
lack of knowledge of pet-friendly emergency shelters were popular explanations for pet evacuation
failure” during Hurricane Irene [50]. Examples of state laws giving effect to this requirement can be
exemplified in the New Jersey state law [51].
Amendment to the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002
s.92E Emergency transport of companion animals (new)
During a state of emergency, and when evacuation has been directed by a controller or constable, the
owner of a companion animal shall be permitted to board any public transportation or public
transportation service with the domestic companion animal so long as that animal is under the
owner's control by use of a leash or tether or is properly confined in an appropriate container or by
other suitable means.
No animal left behind: Animal inclusive emergency management reform
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Credit: Tony Alsup. Case Study: While fleeing the effects of Hurricane Florence, South Carolina resident
Tony Alsup rescues and evacuates 64 animals using a school bus. This “selfie” went viral and was
covered by major news channels including Washington Post, MSN News, CNN and the Daily Mail UK.
During Hurricane Katrina, pets were not allowed on public transport, yet Limousines were used to
transport animals to safety [52].
Protection of animals during biosecurity incidents
The current incursion of Mycoplasma bovis across New Zealand had led to over 37,524 cattle being
culled [53]. As part of control measures pursuant to the Biosecurity Act 1993, Restricted Place Notices
and Notices of Direction can be issued. These can prohibit the movement of animals (in this case
cattle) unless a permit is issued. The Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 does not affect
the powers of the Biosecurity Act 1993, therefore even during a state of emergency (civil defence),
the requirement to move cattle under such notices without a permit is illegal. The permit is issued to
specific persons under the Biosecurity Act 1993, and such permitting function is not a default power
upon a constable or controller. This means, in the case of Mycoplasma bovis (and other similar
incursions affecting animals), that the safe evacuation of animals during a natural disaster event is
conflicted. It is recommended that the National CDEM Plan Order mandates MPI to ensure
arrangements are in place for animals under a biosecurity notice that may also be affected by a civil
defence emergency. By codifying this arrangement, this ensures vulnerable stock are not put at risk
during disasters.
Amendment to the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan Order 2015
S.75 Animal Welfare
Add: At the national, the Ministry for Primary Industries is responsible for:
Ensuring adequate arrangements are made for animals placed a notice issued under the Biosecurity
Act 1993 to ensure such animals are protected in the event of a state of emergency under the Civil
Defence Emergency Management Act 2002. This may include providing information to owners or
persons in charge of such animals, to ensure they have adequate arrangements for the evacuation or
No animal left behind: Animal inclusive emergency management reform
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culling if required, and/or the provision of emergency movement conditions as outlined in a permit
issued under section 134(1)(b) of the Biosecurity Act 1993.
Conclusion
In New Zealand the existing national arrangements and framework for companion animal emergency
management do not currently meet international best practice. While effort is being made within the
sector to address the issue, it is often ad hoc and accomplished through the sheer good will and
personal interest of individuals with little or no financial and technical support. It is not appropriate to
assume that charities will carry out the necessary companion animal emergency planning which is a
statutory responsibility of the territorial authority, especially when national instruments do not
provide for the reimbursement of their operational response costs this makes them financially
vulnerable for simply trying to help during a disaster.
The United States has implemented specific federal legislation and provided significant funding for
companion animal emergency management as a result of the lessons learned following Hurricane
Katrina.
New Zealand has the opportunity to mitigate the same risks and prevent similar catastrophes including
the loss of human life, providing strong leadership and commitment can be exemplified by central
government. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to create world leading animal disaster laws
that will enhance our vision for a resilient New Zealand.
Steve Glassey
Founder | Animal Evac New Zealand Trust
& Doctoral Candidate| University of Otago
Summary of changes
Change
Comparative Laws
1. MCDEM specifically mandated to develop and maintain National
Companion Animal Emergency Management Plan.
Pet Emergency & Transportation Standards Act 2006 [USA]
New Jersey State Law [54]
Refer also to Annex A.
2. MPI responsible for National Non-Companion Animal Emergency
Management Plan.
3. CDEM Groups responsible for regional companion animal
emergency plan, supported by local authority animal control.
Pet Emergency & Transportation Standards Act 2006 [USA]
New Jersey State Law [54]
Refer also to Annex A.
4. Fire & Emergency NZ responsible for coordinating and directing
large scale animal rescue and animal decontamination at major
incidents and during states of emergency.
5. Dog Control registration fees may be used towards local authority
animal welfare related civil defence functions (reduction and
readiness activities).
6. Definitions of companion animal, animal marking added to
legislation.
7. Dwellings may be entered without warrant by Animal Welfare
Inspectors, during state of emergency and where dwelling subject
to evacuation order, for civil defence purposes.
No animal left behind: Animal inclusive emergency management reform
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8. Operational costs for animal welfare emergency management now
reimbursed by central government (for response and recovery
activities).
Pet Emergency & Transportation Standards Act 2006 [USA]
Maine State Law [22]
9. Animal welfare civil defence volunteers equally able to access civil
defence volunteer training funding schemes.
Pet Emergency & Transportation Standards Act 2006 [USA]
10. Powers to rescue, shelter, transport, care, treat, decontaminate,
and microchip animals during emergencies.
Pet Emergency & Transportation Standards Act 2006 [USA]
11. Powers to evacuate, enter on property and requisition now are
animal-inclusive.
Pet Emergency & Transportation Standards Act 2006 [USA]
12. Companion animals left behind during evacuation now to be
treated as a priority for rescue and reuniting.
Pet Emergency & Transportation Standards Act 2006 [USA]
13. Offence created for impersonating the use of a disability assist
dog.
New York State Law [55]. Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire,
New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Virginia have similar
laws or regulations prohibiting the misrepresentation of service animals.
14. National identification tag may be mandated for disability assist
dogs.
15. NZCAR/LostPets and National Dog Database mandated to share
information, with existing levy able to be used for civil defence
functionality.
State of Louisiana (RS 29:726) section (E)(a)(iii)(bb). [56]
16. Displaced animals in an emergency must be entered into onto the
NZCAR/LostPets database.
State of Louisiana (RS 29:726) section (E)(a)(iii)(bb). [56]
No animal left behind: Animal inclusive emergency management reform
www.animalevac.nz 37
17. Offence created for failing to protect companion animals from
extreme weather and during emergencies, without reasonable
excuse.
State of Texas, Texas Health & Safety Code. 2007. [30]
18. Code of Ethics (research, testing, teaching) now require measure
to protect animals from impacts of natural and technological
hazards.
Animal Emergency Planning Act (Bill) 2015, US Congress. [34]
19. Controller may amend, suspend, change, create temporary
emergency dog control bylaws, i.e. emergency exercise areas for
dogs near evacuation centres.
20. Dog Control Officer and Dog Rangers able to carry out function,
duties and powers in any area subject to state of emergency.
21. Dog Control Officer and Dog Ranger may seize a dog that is at risk
of imminent harm.
22. Stray holding periods under dog control and animal welfare acts,
increased from 7 days to 30 days for displaced animals during
emergency.
American Bar Association, ‘Model Act Governing Standards for the Care and
Disposition of Disaster Animals (2/10)’. [32]
Oklahoma State Law (Care and Disposition of Disaster Animals,2015) Act4 Okl.
St. Ann. § 701 707. [33]
23. Power for humane trapping operations to be undertaken including
during recovery transition period.
24. Approved organisations (not just specific charity) embedded in
national animal welfare sub-function to promote inclusiveness.
No animal left behind: Animal inclusive emergency management reform
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25. MPI responsible for protected animals under the animal welfare
act, found in a natural state and impacted by disaster i.e. crayfish,
lobster, squid and octopus.
26. Animal establishments required to have an emergency
management plan, and offence for failing to provide for inspection
by Inspector or Auditor.
Animal Emergency Planning Act (Bill) 2015, US Congress. [34]
State of Louisiana (RS 29:726) section (E)(a)(v). [56]
27. NAWAC to have “approved organisation” and “animal emergency
management” experience as part of its composition.
28. Local authorities become approved organisations for civil defence
purposes during an emergency and recovery transition period,
with dog control officers and rangers becoming auxiliary officers
by default during such time.
29. MPI responsible for collation of national, regional and local animal
census/population data and supply of such data to CDEM groups.
30. Power to destroy animals under civil defence arrangements, now
subject to approval by animal welfare inspector or veterinarian.
31. Dead displaced companion animals should be delivered to an
approved organisation, checked for animal markings and entered
onto the NZCAR/LostPets database.
32. Offence created to make it illegal to discriminate tenancy
applicants based on companion animal ownership during recovery
transition period.
No animal left behind: Animal inclusive emergency management reform
www.animalevac.nz 39
33. Code of Emergency Welfare able to be developed that applies
during times of emergency.
34. Sponsorship arrangements may not hinder relief of animal welfare
aid during an emergency.
35. Inspectors may enter to rescue animals from imminent harm
without notice of entry in a state of emergency.
36. Inspectors, Auxiliary Officers, Dog Control Officers and Dog
Rangers able to microchip animals during a state of emergency.
37. Public transportation of confined or restrained companion animals
permitted during an emergency.
Pet Emergency & Transportation Act 2006.
New Jersey state law [51].
See also Annex A.
38. Offence to microchip companion animal and fail to register it on
the National Dog Database or NZCAR/Gazetted database.
39. MPI to work with affected owners of animals under a biosecurity
notice to ensure adequate arrangements are made for their
protection during emergencies, given the movement restrictions
may prevent evacuation.
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Annex A: US State Laws (2011)
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No animal left behind: Animal inclusive emergency management reform
www.animalevac.nz 45
Annex B: Entry, Seizure & Disposal Matrix (Draft)
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