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New animal welfare regulations in force

03 October 2018

The Animal Welfare (Care and Procedures) Regulations 2018 took effect from 1 October 2018. The regulations aim to allow better enforcement of low to medium animal welfare offending. Severe animal cruelty is covered under the Animal Welfare Act 1999.

The Ministry of Primary Industries says most of the regulations apply from 1 October 2018. Regulations around disbudding and dehorning cattle are delayed until 1 October 2019 to give animal owners and practitioners (such as veterinarians and contractors) time to prepare.

To make sure codes of welfare are consistent with the regulations, the regulations make changes to some minimum standards. These changes take effect in October 2018 and the codes have been updated and reissued.

The ministry says most of the regulations are based on existing minimum standards in the codes of welfare, "so if you're already doing it right you won't see a lot of change". But some people may need to change farm policies, providing additional staff training or make other changes to the way they care for their animals.

Last updated on the 16th September 2019