COVID-19 and animal welfare in Alert Level 2

Under Alert Level 2, the focus is to reduce transmission of COVID-19.

Businesses, including pet and animal care businesses, are open in Alert Level 2 with appropriate measures that prevent the spread of COVID-19. That means maintaining appropriate physical distancing and contact tracing registers. 

Alert Level 2 - COVID-19

Contact with animals

There remains no evidence that domestic animals (pets or livestock) can spread COVID-19 and routine testing of animals for COVID-19 is not justified. However, it’s good practice to wash your hands before and after interacting with animals. 

International advice is that, as a precautionary measure, people sick with COVID-19 should avoid contact with pets and other animals, as they would with people.

Where there is COVID-19 in a household, it is recommended that animals are not moved off the property.

You can also check for new updates on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)'s website.

Frequently asked questions on COVID-19 – CDC

Questions and answers on COVID-19 – OIE

Coronavirus disease 2019 – CDC

If your pet or service animal needs to go to the veterinarian

If you are not sick with COVID-19 or another communicable disease like the flu or a cold, call your veterinarian to discuss whether your animal needs veterinary attention.

If you are sick with COVID-19 or another disease, you should stay at home and minimise contact with others until you are well. Any non-urgent pet appointments should be rescheduled.

If your animal’s situation is urgent and you have COVID-19, or suspect you might, call your veterinarian to determine how to best ensure your pet or service animal can be appropriately cared for while minimizing risks of transmitting COVID-19 to other people.

Do not take your animal to a veterinary clinic until you have contacted your veterinarian.

Animal welfare - COVID-19   

Walking dogs

You can continue to walk your dog under any of the COVID-19 Alert Levels.

Stay 2 metres away from people you don’t know in public.

If someone in the household has COVID-19, then any dogs in the household should not be exercised off the property.

Safely walking your dog

Pets and animal care, sale and adoption

Under Alert Level 2, you can use doggy daycare, dog grooming, kennels and catteries, dog walking and other care services, as well as ride your horses, access horse care services and take part in the sale or adoption of pets. Customers will be allowed on the premises of all businesses.

Customers will be allowed on the premises of all businesses. Businesses you visit will have contact tracing systems and other safety measures in place. Continue to follow personal hygiene guidelines and stay 2 metres away from people you don’t know in public.

Horses and horse riding

Participating in sports and recreational activities is allowed, if conditions on gatherings are met, physical distancing is followed and you follow good personal health measures while travelling.

See New Zealand Pony Club for advice on horse activities at different alert levels.

New Zealand Pony Club

Financial support if your business still can’t fully operate safely under Alert Level 2 

If your business is unable to safely operate in some way at Alert Level 2, we encourage you to seek out advice now.  There are lots of organisations who want to help. 

Go to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) for guidance information and a list of government agencies.  Federated Farmers, your industry group, or professional body can also help.

MBIE guidance

List of government agencies

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