Animal Welfare Minister Nathan Guy says 46 new animal welfare regulations will be developed this year, with the objective of them coming into effect before October 2018.
He says the Ministry of Primary Industry will focus on having the regulations ready to be delivered by the end of 2017. The delayed lead-in time will enable farmers, processors, transporters and others to ensure that their systems are prepared before the new regulations take effect.
“Changes we made to the Animal Welfare Act 1999 in 2015 have allowed us to create directly-enforceable regulations. This has given the Act more teeth, and creates more tools to deal with mistreatment of animals,” Mr Guy says.
“These 46 regulations include stock transport, farm husbandry, companion and working animals, pigs, layer hens and the way animals are accounted for in research, testing and teaching.
“These follow the Young Calf and Live Animal Export regulations which we fast-tracked and introduced last year. These regulations contributed to a reduction of more than 50 percent in mortality rates for bobby calves during the 2016 season.”
The ministry consulted on 91 animal welfare regulations in 2016. Those which remain after the announced 46 will be considered in a third package of work in 2018, for introduction in 2019.
Further information from the ministry on its work and the areas in which regulations will be developed is available here.
Mr Guy says in 2014 New Zealand's animal welfare system was ranked 1st equal out of 50 countries assessed by the global animal protection charity World Animal Protection.