Petition launched to get more vets into NZ

A critical shortage of vets has prompted a petition to let more into the country:

Right now, New Zealand is facing a dire veterinarian shortage. We urgently need vets from overseas, but the closure of our borders to safeguard New Zealand from COVID-19 – while of course necessary – has meant they haven’t been able to arrive.

As we enter the busy summer season, without enough vets: 

  • Animal welfare will suffer; 

  • The wellbeing of our extremely busy, stressed and burnt-out vets will only continue to be hit, at a time they should be able to enjoy some rest with loved ones; and

  • Our production animal sectors could face economic harm if animals can’t be treated.

The Government has made some promising noises, but far more still needs to be done.

So far, of the 30 border exceptions the Government promised back in September, only 19 or so vets have been allowed into the country – despite many more (who meet the Government’s stated criteria) requesting exceptions to enter and being declined. 

The Government’s latest decision only reconfirms its existing and public-stated policy: that only vets earning over $106,080 pa will be eligible for border exceptions.

We desperately need vets of all skill levels, salary levels, experience levels and disciplines, and we only need a small number. Only a few vets would be entering NZ at any one time – because it takes a while to find them jobs and get them registered to practise as a veterinarian here in New Zealand.  

They’ll arrive in a safe and controlled manner, and not all at once like the Netflix actors or Russian fishermen. They’ll arrive a few at a time and won’t clog up MIQ facilities.

Designating vets as critical workers would reflect our crucial need for them as skilled professionals to care for our animals – in the same way that we recognise our human doctors who care for you and me.

Please sign and share this petition to urge the Government to reclassify vets as critical workers. Thank you.

You can sign the petition here.

You can read a media release here.

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