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We live in a rural environment, we host international and national guests for farm stays and events and more and more of our guests as they move around the country, complain about this really big issue in what was once termed God-zone.
Unlike many other places, we are so lucky in NZ to have the wonderful supply of water we do. It is our life force and we cannot do with-out it.
What I am appealing to you about is the supply of water to your animals, both livestock and domestic pets. We have a very big problem in NZ where not all animals have access to clean fresh water.
As global warming firms its grip on us and our summers are expected to get hotter by the year, it is time to make sure that all your animals have a water supply.
All too often in the farming communities I see stock paddocks with buckets, troughs etc waiting to be filled with rain and when it doesn’t come, the animals become desperate for this basic life force.
Water is defined as an essential nutrient and contains things like calcium, magnesium and potassium, because it is required in amounts that exceed the body’s ability to produce it, it must be provided. It fills the spaces in and between cells and helps form protein. Without it you are putting the welfare of your animals at extreme risk.
Dehydration can lead to unconsciousness and death.
No water for your animals is wrong on so many levels and it is high time this basic need is met for all in our care and what happened to all the shelter belts NZ once had?
Shelter is also extremely essential – why are many people just not bothering anymore, our livestock need both these basic needs met more than ever, anything other than this is extreme cruelty.
I have no idea how to tackle the issues I see here but I know I cannot do nothing, I need your assistance in righting these wrongs so we as New Zealanders can be proud of what we do, knowing we are getting it right.
- Deborah Stewart