The new Animal Welfare (Care and Procedures) Regulations came into force on 1 October 2018 and they have some real teeth so farmers and other animal owners should take note.
The Regulations took effect from 1 October 2018 and aim to allow better enforcement of low to medium animal welfare offending. Severe animal cruelty is covered under the Animal Welfare Act 1999.
Most of the regulations applied from 1 October 2018. Regulations relating to disbudding and dehorning cattle are delayed until 1 October 2019 to give animal owners and veterinarians time to prepare.
The Ministry for Primary Industries says that 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, provide additional staff training or make other changes to the way they care for their animals”.
Regulations 5 to 29 relate to the specific care of and conduct towards cattle, crabs, rock lobster and crayfish, dogs, goats, horses, layer hens, llama, alpaca, pigs and sheep. Regulations 30 to 49 relate to animals more generally and place restrictions around stock transportation, fireworks at rodeos, use of collars and tethers, use of electric prodders and prodding in sensitive areas.
The Regulations also contain offences relating to the docking of animals tails and castration. It is an offence to dock the tail of any cattle, pig or dog unless it is performed by a veterinarian for therapeutic purposes and the animal was given pain relief at the time of the procedure. The castration of any cattle, sheep, horse or pig must only be performed by a veterinarian with pain relief given to the animal at the time of the procedure. A person must not, by any method, remove the breech, tail skin folds or tail skin wrinkles of a sheep. Any individual who breaches this is liable for a fine of up to $5,000.
For further details on each of the above regulations see https://www.mpi.govt.nz/protection-and-response/animal-welfare/guide-to-the-animal-welfare-care-and-procedures-regulations/ or http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2018/0050/latest/whole.html#LMS22789.
If you have any questions about the regulations and how they might affect you please get in contact with us.