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Covid-19 information

Resources and information for managing your business under COVID-19 alert levels.

Update from Deer Industry New Zealand - April 2022

Deer Industry New Zealand remains committed to providing a safe working environment for staff and guests.  DINZ will encourage all staff and contractors to maintain vaccination status as recommended by the Ministry of Health.  Deer Industry New Zealand encourages all members of the deer industry community to keep up with vaccinations against the Covid-19 virus as recommended by the Ministry of Health.  Deer Industry New Zealand will also apply guidance on events as prescribed by the Ministry of Health. To this effect, DINZ will no longer require visitors to the DINZ office to be vaccinated.

For Deer Industry New Zealand convened events we encourage good hygiene and a continuation of attendees staying away if they exhibit any cold or flu-like symptoms. We encourage mask wearing and following the Alert Level guidance provided by the government.   People should adhere to medical advice if they have recently tested positive for Covid-19.

For any Deer Industry New Zealand event entry will be determined by the venue host.  Individual businesses are free to determine if they will allow non-vaccinated people onto their premises.  DINZ will respect the decisions of these venues.  DINZ will not require attendees to be fully vaccinated to attend a DINZ convened event.

In Case of COVID – Break Glass!

The Pan Sector Industry Working Group (IWG) was formed in mid-2021 to help prepare and support farmers dealing with COVID-19. The group has been continuing to work on the ever-changing situation and is now encouraging farmers to have an ‘On-Farm Survival Kit’.

The IWG includes representatives from B+LNZ, DairyNZ, Deer Industry New Zealand, Federated Farmers, NZPork, Poultry Industry and Egg Producers and RST’s, with support from MPI.

Omicron is expected to have a greater spread and subsequent impact in the farming community than previous Covid-19 variants. This compounds the many pressures that farmers, agricultural support services, retailers and processors are experiencing, meaning that planning is more essential than ever.

A good starting point for planning is the on farm COVID-19 checklist, which can be found here. The checklist is designed to get you thinking about what sort of things you need to consider if you or your staff get the virus or become a close contact.

The IWG has been monitoring and engaging with our Australian counterparts on the difficulties they are facing with Omicron. This has identified how important the whole of the supply chain is to farmers. Generally, farmers think of this in immediate terms, such as ‘Can my processor take my animals?’. However, Australia has found that a larger impact lies closer to the consumer end of the supply chain, i.e. ‘Can the retailer selling my product stock the shelves?’ or ‘Can the transporter deliver the product?’. When these pieces of the supply chain fail, a ripple effect occurs, which ends up with farmers having to hold over stock for longer periods of time than they would like.

Consequently, the IWG is encouraging farmers to put together an ‘On-Farm Survival Kit’ that contains equipment or supplies that may be needed if they became inaccessible due to retail or service businesses closing for a period. This includes items like veterinary supplies, stock feed, pipe fittings, fuel etc. - all those things that you use and top-up on a regular basis. If your supplier, or your supplier’s supplier have to shut for a period of time, what would you do?

This is not about panic buying, this is about thinking ahead and being prepared for the worst. Work with your suppliers and your processor, and make a plan today.

If you do need some assistance contact the RST on 0800 78 72 54 or the IWG on 0800 FARMING.

Business support during the Omicron outbreak

Inland Revenue has released a fact sheet that explains the help your business can get from the Government during the COVID-19 Omicron outbreak.

Topics covered:

  • Money to keep your business running
  • Removing penalties and interest on late tax payments
  • More time to pay your tax
  • Low or no-interest loan
  • Money to pay employees who have to stay home and cannot work

Click here to download >>

Checklist for farmers


It’s only a matter of time before a positive case of COVID-19 turns up on-farm. Is your business prepared if one does?

It’s important you have a plan to ensure your farm can continue to operate if you, an employee, or a family
member contracts COVID-19. You may be required to leave your property quickly.

Having a plan will help give you peace of mind that others will be able to step in and help.

A checklist has been created to help you create a plan in the event you are required to leave your property and are unable to look after your animals, staff and business. The detail contained in your plan is unique to your own property and circumstances to allow family, friends or neighbours to come in and tend to the immediate needs of your livestock.

The plan is broken up into four sections. These are:

Section 1: About your farm – How it works.
Section 2: COVID-19 on farm – the next 14 - 21 days
Section 3: Information to assist the Medical Officer of Health
Section 4: Personal wellbeing

We encourage you to involve your staff (if you have them) and your family with this planning. Please remember, this checklist is not exhaustive and you can add anything that will assist your planning.

Click here (or on the image to the right) to download the checklist >>


Covid-19 Advice from the National Velvetting Standards Body

With yet another variant of Covid-19 now on our shores, the National Velvetting Standards Body (NVSB) has developed the following advice for farmers, in order to limit the risk of transmitting the virus through the supply chain, which could have devastating effects on the entire industry.

  • If you feel at all unwell, test positive for Covid-19, or are identified as a close contact of someone with Covid-19, then stay away from your animals and any associated product.
  • Focus on ensuring that only essential farm tasks are undertaken (by someone that is not infected or unwell) and delay any velvet removal until you are completely recovered, or have been given a clean bill of health by the medical authorities.
  • If velvet removal cannot be delayed due to animal welfare concerns, then approach your veterinarian to remove the velvet for you. A neighbour or someone on the farm who is not infected, will need to muster the stags for the vet and ensure that the velvetting area is thoroughly cleaned before and after velvetting is done.
  • Advice from the Ministry of Health is that washing with detergent, e.g. hot soapy water, and then keeping the area ventilated for at least an hour afterwards is enough to deactivate any virus that may be present. In addition, anyone coming into contact with the yards/deer shed, must wear a face mask at all times and wash/santitise their hands before and after being in the shed.
  • If your veterinarian is unable to help, then please contact the NVSB Executive on 04 473 4500 or 027 246 5606. They will assess the situation and try to find a local certified farmer to undertake the procedure on your behalf. Note, this may not be possible in all situations and will only be done as an exceptional circumstance to protect animal welfare, not to ensure product quality.

Please remember that Covid-19 is a serious public health issue and that being able to remain on your farm while unwell may not be possible. Making sure that you, your family and staff are fully vaccinated and having a contingency plan in place will help, but the main aim of quarantine/isolation is to limit the risk of spreading the disease and give those affected the best chance of getting better.

Click here for an on-farm Covid-19 planning sheet that can be used to help you develop a contingency plan and for more information about what will happen if someone on your farm tests positive for the virus, you can watch a short webinar here:

Webinar - Covid on deer farms, recorded Friday 10 December

DINZ General Manager Quality Assurance, Rob Gregory, covered:

  • Explain what will happen if you or someone on the farm tests positive for Covid-19.
  • Outline the importance of having a plan to manage the farm if the above happens.
  • Discuss the risks around human to animal transmission of the disease and what you can do about it.
  • Advise on best practice for minimising the spread of Covid-19 into other areas of the supply chain.
COVID-19 Update from Deer Industry New Zealand - Sept 2021 through Dec 2021
COVID-19 Update from Deer Industry New Zealand - August 2021
COVID-19 Update from Deer Industry New Zealand - February 2021
COVID-19 Update from Deer Industry New Zealand - October 2020
COVID-19 Update from Deer Industry New Zealand - 20 Aug 2020
COVID-19 Update from Deer Industry New Zealand - 12 Aug 2020
Information for managing your business under the COVID-19 alert levels
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