2 September 2021

Update on applications to cross the alert level border

Thanks to the vets and clinic staff who have been applying for travel documentation through the MBIE portal to date.

For new applications, please now use the Primary Industry and Food Supply categorywithin the MBIE Business Travel Register, rather than the animal welfare category.

Professionals who are providing animal health and welfare care are already permitted by cl 17(1)(a) as workers and can use this provision as it better reflects the service provided. This should result in a more streamlined and simpler application process for veterinarians and allied professionals.

Applications that were already made are being redirected through the appropriate category.

Vaccinations at level 4

We’ve heard reports of some animal owners travelling to different areas to have their animals vaccinated. As we previously advised , we believe it is acceptable to provide some vaccinations in situations where there is an elevated risk to animals (such as in an area with a parvovirus outbreak).

However, we do not consider it acceptable to vaccinate the animals of non-clients who travel to visit the clinic from a lower risk area. This is because doing so increases then risk of spread of COVID-19 by encouraging necessary travel and incentivises clinics in low risk areas to start vaccinating animals to avoid losing clients. We appreciate that this a complex situation and practices needs to make decisions on the fly to a certain extent but we ask that some careful triage and risk assessment is used to avoid this type of situation.

Our Guidance on triage during an extended lockdown provides a framework for making these decisions.

We’re working on some more guidance on procedures like vaccinations and desexing and will share it with you in the next few days.