Animal Welfare Matters: proposals for a New Zealand Animal Welfare Strategy and amendments to the Animal Welfare Act 1999

Animal Welfare Amendment Bill introduced

Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy introduced the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill on 8 May 2013, and the Bill had its first reading in Parliament on 29 August 2013.

The Bill is currently before the Primary Production Select Committee, which is considering the submissions that it received and heard on the Bill. The Select Committee is due to report back to Parliament on the Bill at the end of March. The Bill must then undergo second and third readings before being passed into law.

The Bill changes the Act to make it more enforceable, clear and transparent. It aligns with the New Zealand Animal Welfare Strategy (offsite link to

The Bill allows for the creation of enforceable regulations that will complement the minimum standards contained within New Zealand’s 16 codes of welfare (offsite link to The Bill also gives the Minister the ability to make other regulations, including for live animal exports and surgical procedures. The new regulations will be developed after the Bill has been passed, and will be publicly consulted on.

Once they are in place, the regulations will be backed by a range of enforcement tools, including instant fines.

The Bill also directly increases protections for New Zealand’s wild animals, animals being exported to other countries, and animals used in research, testing and teaching. An overview of the changes that the Bill makes to the Act can be found here Link to PDF document (109 KB).

The passage into law

Bill introduced to Parliament - 8 May 2013

First reading - 29 August 2013 (passed)

Select committee process

Second reading

Committee of the whole house

Third reading

Governor General passes the Bill into law

Click here for frequently asked questions about the Bill




During August and September 2012, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) publicly consulted on proposals for a New Zealand Animal Welfare Strategy, and for changes to the Animal Welfare Act 1999 in its consultation document Animal Welfare Matters: proposals for a New Zealand Animal Welfare Strategy and amendments to the Animal Welfare Act 1999.

More than 2,000 submissions were received.

Summary of submissions (offsite link to

The group submissions have been compiled alphabetically. All individual names and contact details have been removed to maintain submitters’ privacy.

MPI also received 1756 copies of the following submission:

During the consultation MPI ran six stakeholder workshops:

Key documents

Page last updated: 19 February 2014