Cows trapped on land island after earthquake

Three cows have been luckily - or unluckily - stranded on an island of land, surrounded by collapsed earth from landslides near Kaikoura.

The video footage from Newshub shows two adult cattle and a calf stranded on the small island of grass amidst chaos, after the 12.02am 7.5 magnitude earthquake shook much of the country.

"That is amazing," a passenger on the helicopter from which the footage is being shot can be heard saying.

And the plight of the cows has now caught the attention of celebrity vet Chris Brown.

Australian Brown, who has his own television series called Bondi Vet, posted a pic of the cows on his Facebook page, which has close to 200,000 likes.

"These cows have just been discovered stranded on this tiny island after a massive earthquake in New Zealand wiped out their entire paddock; apart from this small patch of grass.

"The magnitude 7.5 quake struck early this morning on New Zealand's South Island and has sadly claimed the lives of two people," he wrote.

"The effect on the island's animal population still isn't known but rescue efforts are now beginning to save the two cows and a calf that are marooned on this tiny mound of earth."

Many of Brown's followers are unsure how they will be rescued.

Suggestions include using a tranquilising gun, and building a ramp.

"Kiwis love their cows so I'm sure they'll find a way," Brown wrote.

A more cynical fan suggested McDonald's would save them.

Fonterra said it expected disruption to milk collection and farms that cannot be reached may have to dispose of their milk.

Miles Hurrell, Fonterra's Farm Source chief operating officer, said the Auckland-based cooperative will contact farmers directly if that was required.

"We're doing our best to reach everyone who is due for collection immediately. With power out and phone lines down in some areas, that includes putting Farm Source teams on the road to go door to door to try to update those farmers with the latest information," he said.

About 30 farms in the Kaikoura region may not have milk collected due to the state of the roads, while others may have late collections as routes are altered, he said.

Mid Canterbury farmers are on standby to take dairy cows from quake-affected North Canterbury dairy farmers.

Mid Canterbury Federated Farmers dairy spokesman Nathan Currie said communication was the biggest problem and knowing what was needed.

"I have plenty of farmers that can take cows to alleviate issues they might have. The next thing is transport and working out the logistics of getting stock out due to road closures.

"We have trucks on standby and people on standby."

- with BusinessDesk, Ashburton Guardian

- NZ Herald

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