Legal Complexities of Entry, Rescue, Seizure and Disposal of Disaster Affected Companion Animals in New Zealand
With the increasing societal expectation that animals are afforded greater protection in emergencies, the legal process from entering a property to rescue a companion animal, through to how to dispose of such animals if they remain unclaimed has not been well examined in New Zealand. It is hypothesised that the legal framework for such response is flawed. In this study, each phase of animal disaster rescue is evaluated against four key statues that may apply in each phase, in that does any
... that does any statute provide clear end to end provisions with clear legal authority to do so. The study found that all statutes evaluated contained flaws and that the current legal provisions are insufficient to provide clear authority for the sequential process of undertaking rescue of animals during emergencies. A major flaw was discovered in the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 a key statute, that provided for the seizure of property and animals but omitted a procedure for the disposal of such seized things leaving them all in legal limbo. It is recommended that animal disaster laws are updated to be more animal inclusive. The method also may be applicable to assist evaluating animal disaster management legal frameworks in other countries.