New Zealand Law Society - New animal welfare regulations in effect on 1 October

New animal welfare regulations in effect on 1 October

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New regulations aimed at strengthening the animal welfare system will come into effect on 1 October 2018.

The 45 new regulations under the Animal Welfare (Care and Procedures) Regulations 2018 cover a range of species and activities from stock transport and farm husbandry procedures to companion and working animals like dogs and horses.

The Ministry of Primary Industry says it has been working with industry and sector groups to raise awareness of the regulations and to ensure people understand and can meet their responsibilities.

"The majority of the regulations reflect existing standards, but there are a few that do set new rules and requirements, such as prohibiting the tail docking of cows and dogs," MPI director for animal health and welfare Chris Rodwell says.

Dr Rodwell says one of the main changes is that the new regulations will make it easier for MPI and the SPCA (Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals) to take action against animal mistreatment.

"These regulations will allow us to better respond to lower levels of offending, and target specific behaviours that need to change. 

"For example, if people allow their animal's horns to become ingrown, they can be fined $500.  We will continue to prosecute the worst offenders under the Animal Welfare Act".

MPI says that in developing the regulations, current science, good practice, and the views of submitters were taken into consideration.

Regulations around disbudding and dehorning cattle will be delayed until 1 October 2019 to give animal owners and practitioners time to prepare.

Detailed information about the new regulations is available in MPI's Guide to the Animal Welfare (Care and Procedures) Regulations.