Eligibility opens up for 'critically important' animal rescue courses

Funding has opened up for training for rescuing pets during natural disasters, a move which the Green Party described as "critically important" not just for pets, but also for humans. 

"The Government is finally going to open eligibility though the Emergency Management Adult Community Education," Green Party MP Gareth Hughes said today. 

He said it would mean people can access fees-free funding to study courses to deal with animals during natural disasters.

Mr Hughes said $1.5 million had been allocated in Budget 2018 for 2019 for emergency training, however that fund had usually been under spent in the past and was not eligible for animal organisations. 

"It's the right thing to do... but also it's critically important for human safety", he said referring to cases where people have put their lives in danger to rescue pets.

Steve Glassey, chair of Animal Evac NZ (an animal disaster management charity), said it was essential to rescue animals in the event of an emergency, otherwise it can cause dangerous situations for humans. 

"If we evacuate people, we've got to evacuate animals, otherwise people won't evacuate or they'll go back in and put themselves and others at risk."

"A lot of people rely on their pets as a coping mechanism... so it's really important to keep that family unit together and with more trained people we're able to do that."

$1.5m had been set aside for emergency training, but that did not include rescuing animals. Source: 1 NEWS