Australia is currently facing the worst bushfires in its history, with officials noting the crisis is unlike anything the country has ever seen and could have long-lasting impacts. The impact to livestock, pets and wildlife has been devastating. According to the Wall Street Journal, thousands of livestock have already been killed – additional hits on a farm sector that was already suffering from a three-year drought – and millions more animals have been impacted. As always in the face of disaster, Zoetis colleagues are stepping up to support customers and communities by providing emergency veterinary services and consultations, organising product donations, and supporting the mental health of those affected through our relationship with Beyond Blue.
“Our hearts break for the animals, families and customers who are being effected by these fires,” said Lance Williams, Senior Vice President and Cluster Lead for Australia and New Zealand. “At times like these, Zoetis colleagues truly put our customers first — offering assistance, products and support directly and through partnering organisations. Our customers appreciate our outreach and know we are there for them today and as they recover.”
Offering Vital Product and Technical Support
Over 26 million acres across Australia have been ravaged by the fires, with many areas of devastation still not accessible. Dairy farmers, for example, have already suffered great losses. In areas where electricity has gone out, they have had to pour their milk away and their cows are also suffering from the disruption in milking.
Zoetis colleagues have been reaching out to veterinary clinics in affected areas to offer free product to livestock, pets, and wildlife and give technical advice. A message was sent this week through the Zoetis Direct platform to affected clinics to guide them in seeking medication for their animals. Zoetis has made over $500,000 in product available to veterinary clinics across the entire livestock and companion animal product portfolio for treatment of impacted livestock, pets and wildlife. With Zoetis Direct we are in the unique position to respond quickly and it’s been very pleasing to see shipments already delivered to clinics within impacted areas.
Zoetis is also reaching out and donating product to wildlife conservation efforts, such as Zoos Victoria – Healesville Sanctuary and The Parade Vet Norwood/Adelaide Koala Rescue.
Additionally, Zoetis is working hand-in-hand with the Australian Veterinary Association to ensure that the approach is well-coordinated and aligned for the best crisis response.
Supporting the Mental Health of Those Affected
Beyond Blue, an organisation Zoetis has supported for several years, is playing a vital role supporting the community and veterinary clinics during this challenging time. The organisation will help those affected navigate the emotional impact of the bushfires through support hotlines. Zoetis has been a long-time supporter of Beyond Blue, given its connection to many of rural farming communities, and we have donated over $400,000 to the organisation over the last several years.
The bushfire situation in Australia is expected to continue to evolve with high temperatures and unpredictable winds expected to potentially worsen the situation by the end of this week. In the Guardian, the New South Wales emergency services minister, David Elliott, said that despite the difficult day predicted on Friday, he hoped that this week could be considered the “the end of the beginning.”
Zoetis will continue to stand by our customers in their efforts to protect the animals they care for and support them as they rebuild their lives and businesses.
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