Farmed Animal Welfare Report highlights inconsistencies between the codes and the Act
The New Zealand Animal Law Association is concerned that the welfare needs of farmed animals in New Zealand are not being met. It recently released a report on this topic, with a particular focus on pigs, dairy cattle, layer hens, meat chickens and fish.
The report, funded by the New Zealand Law Foundation and Lush, reveals a substantial gap between the overarching standards of animal welfare prescribed by the Animal Welfare Act 1999 and the standards provided for in the codes of welfare and regulations that sit under the Act.
Specific examples of welfare concerns include:
The authors make a number of recommendations in the report, including a comprehensive review of the codes of welfare and regulations, as well as a review of the processes by which the codes and regulations were established by the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (which sits under the Ministry for Primary Industries).
Over 95% of respondents in a recent study by the Ministry for Primary Industries agreed, “It is important that the welfare of farmed animals in New Zealand is protected.” Given this overwhelming consensus, it is critical that the codes of welfare and regulations for farmed animals be updated so that the “physical, health and behavioural needs” of farmed animals are met, as required by the Act.
The Law Foundation provided funding of $25,000 for the research for this report.