Feedback sought on proposed animal welfare regulations

Hon Nathan Guy, Minister for Primary Industries

Feedback is being sought by the New Zealand Government on proposed animal welfare regulations to further strengthen this country’s animal welfare system.

“Last year the Government amended the Animal Welfare Act to improve the enforceability, clarity and transparency of the animal welfare system,” says Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy.

“We are now seeking the public’s views on proposed regulations that have been developed in consultation with the independent National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC).”

These proposed regulations will set enforceable rules based on best practice and modern science.

“Our animal welfare system is considered one of the best in the world. The proposed regulations will further strengthen our reputation as a country that cares for animals,” says Guy.

The proposed animal welfare regulations relate to the care of and conduct to animals, including:

  • Infringement notices of $300 or $500 for low-level offending.
  • Who may perform surgical or painful procedures on animals, and under what conditions.
  • New rules for handling bobby calves, including raised areas for loading and trucking distance restrictions.
  • More powers for the director-general of the Ministry for Primary Industries around reporting of animal welfare when live animals are exported for breeding purposes.

“Animal welfare matters to New Zealanders and global consumers of our products,” the Minister says. “Two-thirds of households own a pet, and animal products generate $23 billion in exports every year. We know the vast majority of New Zealanders treat their animals well, whether they are farmers or pet owners. Most people who look after their animals will see little change with the proposed regulations. These proposals build on the additional $10 million invested in strengthening our animal welfare system in Budget 2015.”

Feedback is sought on the proposals by 19 May. For more information on the proposals, to make a submission or find out dates for public meetings, visit



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