Livestock caught in snow's path

Last updated 17:11 25/06/2013

Volunteers assist farmers to rescue mid-Canterbury high country stock stranded in isolated areas by a huge snowfall.

Ben McLeod Station livestock rescue
PETER DRURY/ Fairfax NZ Zoom
Thousands of sheep have needed rescuing.

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Volunteers have been brought in to assist farmers rescue stranded stock from deep snow in the mid-Canterbury high country.

Ben McLeod Station owner Donald Aubrey said they were having to create paths that the stock could come out of and get them into an area where food and water was available.

"Because the country is slippery and steep it's quite an effort from time to time."

They had been assisted by volunteers through the Rural Support Trust who had helped recover about 3000 livestock on Sunday, and expected to rescue another thousand today, Aubrey said.

Volunteers had been fully briefed and carried transmitters in case of an avalanche.

Rural Support Mid-Canterbury coordinator Allan Baird said with the amount of warning received about the storm, they were aware the snow could become an issue.

"Once the weather came fine on Sunday we were able to get teams out and help others get their stock under control."

It was the worst most people would have seen in 25 years, he said.

"It carried on snowing for three days and just kept building up, that's where the depth has come from."

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