New regulations designed to strengthen animal welfare compliance in New Zealand will come into effect on October 1, making it easier for MPI and the SPCA to take action against the mistreatment of animals.
The 45 new regulations cover a range of species and activities from stock transport and farm husbandry procedures, to the care of companion and working animals. Fines may be issued to offenders for short-term infringements, and for more serious offences or long-term effects on an animal — criminal prosecution and conviction may result.
“With less than a month to go until these new regulations come into effect, we want to encourage people, who are responsible for any type of animal, to check they are up to date in how they are looking after them,” says MPI director for animal health and welfare, Dr Chris Rodwell.
“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 and not allowing their animal’s horns to become ingrown.”
In developing the regulations, current science, good practice and the views of submitters considered — should allow welfare officers to better respond to lower levels of offending, and target specific behaviours within the community.
“Most New Zealanders already care for their animals well, so if you’re already doing the right thing, you won’t see a lot of change — but we will continue to prosecute the worst offenders under the Animal Welfare Act,” said Rodwell.