Raft of new animal welfare rules come into effect

  • 01/10/2018

Farmers are being encouraged to find out about the major changes to animal welfare rules which are now in effect.

Minister of Agriculture Damien O'Connor said a lot of work has been put in to coming up with the new regulations.

"These regulations have been developed over the past three years, in consultation with industry and advocacy groups, and target lower-end offending," he said.

New Zealand's economy relies on our social license to produce the finest food and fibre  and it can take one case of poor animal welfare to harm this," Mr O'Connor said.

"While most people care for their animals and are already doing it right, the regulations make it easier to take action against animal mistreatment and target specific behaviours that need to change.

What does it mean for farmers?

There are a raft of new regulations which cover on-farm practices and transporting livestock.

Most of the regulations reflect existing farm practices, but a few set new requirements.

Many of the transport-related regulations apply to farmers selecting lame, sick or injured stock, so farmers should check they are doing it right or face a $500 fine.

Farmers and transporters can download the Fit for Transport app or go to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) website, where an interactive tool brings together all regulations, guidance and minimum standards in the codes of welfare.

"Whether you are a farmer or live on a lifestyle block, own a pet or petting zoo, transport livestock or ride a horse, the regulations will apply to you," Mr O'Connor said.