Feedback sought on draft code of welfare for goats

29 April 2010

Minimum standards of animal welfare and recommended best practices for everyone responsible for farmed goats are outlined in a draft code of welfare released for consultation by the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) today.

NAWAC Chairman John Hellström says the Committee welcomes submissions from anyone interested in goat welfare or involved in their management.

"Goats are kept in a variety of situations in New Zealand, from being farmed for international meat and fibre trade, to tethered on the roadside. There is an onus on all owners and people in charge of goats to look after them appropriately, regardless of how they are kept. As well as establishing how their welfare is properly and best attended to, the draft code provides an important statement to the international community of the animal welfare standards we expect in New Zealand."

"We have released the code for public consultation. No final decisions have been made yet, we want to know whether the minimum standards and recommendations being made go too far or not far enough."

Efficient goat management requires experience and high standards of care. The draft code is intended to encourage all those responsible for the welfare of goats to exceed the minimum standards and adopt the best industry practices of husbandry, care and handling.

The code includes all goats contained (held within a boundary fence), kept as pets, tethered, or held on game estates or safari parks. The proposed minimum standards cover stockmanship and handling; tethering; the provision of food, water and shelter; housing, breeding (including artificial reproductive techniques), kidding and management of kids (including hand rearing). Specific requirements for the preparation and selection of animals for transport and emergency humane destruction are also included.

The code was originally developed by an industry-convened writing group, with input from the milk, fibre and meat goat sectors. It applies to all goats farmed in New Zealand for milk, fibre or meat production. It does not apply to goats that are "wild animals" under the Wild Animal Control Act, but it does apply to captured feral goats.

NAWAC is now seeking public feedback on the draft code which is available at The closing date for submissions is 9 June 2010.

Anyone wanting to make a submission on the draft code should do so in writing to or:
NAWAC Secretary
MAF Biosecurity New Zealand
PO Box 2526
PO Box 2526

Media Contact: Lisa Gibbison, Senior Communications Adviser, Phone: 04 894 0432 / 029 894 0432