Animal welfare watchdog needed - Aug LawTalk column by Law Foundation Director Lynda Hagen
A Law Foundation-backed report is helping drive a push for more effective enforcement of animal welfare law.
The report, Animal Welfare in New Zealand: Oversight, Compliance and Enforcement, gained considerable publicity when released at the end of May around its key finding that less than one per cent of complaints under the Animal Welfare Act ever reach prosecution.
The report called for greater resourcing of the SPCA and the Ministry for Primary Industries, the two organisations primarily responsible for enforcing the Act. It also proposed that an independent Commissioner for Animals be established to advocate for animal welfare, and it called for a public inquiry into the adequacy of animal welfare protection in New Zealand.
Two of the Otago University researchers who co-wrote the report, Marcelo Rodriguez Ferrere (Faculty of Law) and Dr Mike King (Bioethics Centre), are now working on detailed models for how an Animals Commissioner could operate.
Full report Animal Welfare in New Zealand: Oversight, Compliance and Enforcement, is available on the Law Foundation website.
The New Zealand Law Foundation contributed $39,812.16 towards this project