FAQs related to NAWAC Guideline 09: Assessing the welfare performance of restraining and kill traps
The Animal Welfare Compliance Plan (292 KB) was developed in 2010 to improve compliance with the Animal Welfare Act (1999). MAF and a range of other organisations are currently implementing initiatives under the plan to support those who genuinely want to comply with their animal welfare obligations, and to encourage or compel those who do not.
The proposed animal welfare strategy will support and complement these initiatives, but we expect it to focus more broadly on New Zealand’s animal welfare system as a whole.
A strategy and proposed changes to legislation will be finalised and provided to Cabinet in the second half of 2012. From there, Cabinet will determine the timeline for changes to be approved and implemented.
It is expected that strategy and legislation option documents will be released during a public consultation phase in the first half of 2012. Everyone will have the opportunity to express their views on the development of the strategy and legislative changes, and recommendations provided to the Government will take account of these views.
The advisory group is made up of representatives with a range of animal welfare perspectives, including on farm; processing; consumer; science; veterinarian; animal advocacy; and marketing and trade perspectives.
MAF is leading the development of the strategy and legislative amendment proposals. An advisory group of representatives with a range of perspectives on animal welfare matters has been set up to provide expertise as proposals are developed. The advisory group will meet regularly from July 2011.
Key partners and stakeholders involved in animal welfare in New Zealand will also be contacted to gain an understanding of their views about the system and the gaps that a strategy needs to fill.
There will be a public consultation phase in 2012 where everyone will have the opportunity to express their views on the development of the strategy and the proposed legislative changes. Recommendations provided to the Government will take account of these views.
Work on the strategy will support a concurrent review of animal welfare legislation – in particular the Animal Welfare Act 1999. The Act has functioned well to support New Zealand’s animal welfare system to date, but requires review in some areas. Linking the legislation review with the strategy development will help ensure that the legislation fully supports New Zealand’s overarching animal welfare strategy.
A national strategy for New Zealand’s animal welfare system is being developed because, although our current animal welfare system has served us well, there is no explicit strategy setting out New Zealanders’ expectations for animal welfare. As society evolves, and animal welfare challenges continue to arise, the need for such a strategy increases, to help guide decisions and clarify the vision for New Zealand’s animal welfare system.
This strategy will also provide an opportunity to formalise the animal welfare systems currently in place and look at the roles and responsibilities of Government and other organisations so that we all have a shared understanding of how our systems can be improved over time.
Under the Animal Welfare Act 1999, people must attend to the physical, health and behavioural needs of animals in their care. These needs are further detailed in codes of welfare. Codes of welfare also contain minimum standards, including minimum standards on the provision of shade and shelter.
The provision of shade and shelter has important economic and practical implications for farmers. The issue of shade and shelter is not clear cut. Shelter and shade may be provided in a number of ways including the use of topographical features such as gullies or hollows (of adequate depth), natural features such as stands of trees or scrub, hedges or shelter belts, or artificial structures such as buildings, hay stacks, etc.
There is ongoing research on shade and shelter in New Zealand conditions, and NAWAC will be studying this research in order to make practical recommendations in new codes of welfare for farmed animals.
New Zealand exports a wide range of species including horses, deer, cats, dogs, bees, goats, day-old chicks, ferrets, wallabies, embryos and semen. Livestock are especially sought after because of their high genetic value and because New Zealand is free of most major exotic diseases. Animals are shipped live because they are used for breeding, or for slaughter in the country of arrival. Groups that are too large for transport by air may be taken by sea.
New Zealand is currently not shipping any cattle for slaughter, and the export of live sheep for slaughter has dwindled since the 1990s, with the last shipment being in 2003. It does, however, export cattle and sheep for breeding.
Under the Animal Welfare Act 1999, all animals for export (unless specifically exempted) must be issued with an Animal Welfare Export Certificate (AWEC), which takes account of animal welfare requirements and covers compliance with standards.
An experienced New Zealand stockman must accompany shipments of cattle. Some shipping companies also send veterinarians. All shipments are inspected by a MAF veterinarian before they depart.
A shipping report is completed at the end of each voyage which records any deaths, the weather, feed and water supplies, and any issues which affected the welfare of the animals.
Sea-bound shipments have additional requirements in the Maritime Rules, which are monitored by the Maritime Safety Authority. These cover ventilation, feed and water, space requirements, pen height requirements etc.
As a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), New Zealand has certain obligations under WTO agreements. New Zealand cannot prohibit the export of animals to other WTO member countries on the basis of management procedures in the country of importation.
The National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee is currently developing a code of welfare for the shipping of livestock.
After consultation the Government has decided to restrict the sale and use of leg-hold traps in New Zealand. New regulations came into effect on 1 January 2008.
The requirements for keeping pigs are described in the code of welfare for pigs.
The National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC), which recommends codes of welfare to the Minister of Agriculture, looked at conflicting evidence for and against various production systems for pigs when it was considering this code.
It decided that the current alternatives to these systems do not guarantee better welfare for pigs and may, in fact, reduce the welfare of the sows and/or their piglets. Alternative systems need very careful management to ensure adequate animal welfare.
Although pigs can be free to roam and perform normal behaviours in alternative systems, they can have some problems for the welfare of pigs. For example, aggression can be a problem in group-housed pigs and piglets can be crushed when sows lie down.
NAWAC will review its decisions in 2009.
For detail on the reasons for its recommendation, see the report (173 KB) with the code of welfare for pigs.
For detail on the ways in which NAWAC makes decisions on codes of welfare, see the NAWAC guidelines.
The requirements for keeping egg laying hens are described in the code of welfare for layer hens. The National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC), which recommends codes of welfare to the Minister of Agriculture, looked at conflicting evidence for and against various production systems for egg laying hens when it was considering this code.
It decided that based on the limited information available about current alternatives to cages, it cannot be concluded that these alternatives guarantee better overall welfare for hens.
Alternative systems need very careful management to ensure adequate animal welfare. Although hens are free to roam and perform normal behaviours in these systems, cages provide some advantages over them. For example, hens are not exposed to adverse weather conditions or predators (eg harrier hawks) and fighting, dust, disease from faecal material, ammonia levels, and the cleanliness of eggs and birds is more easily managed.
NAWAC will review its decision in 2009. For detail on the reasons for its recommendation, see the reports (first (133 KB) and second (263 KB)) with the code of welfare for layer hens. For detail on the ways in which NAWAC makes decisions on codes of welfare, see the NAWAC guidelines.
This falls under a specific provision controlled by the New Zealand Racing Conference or New Zealand Harness Racing Conference. For other horse users the provisions for use of the whip are spelt out in the Whips and spurs section of the code of minimum standards and recommendations for horses.
Yes, but under certain conditions. Minimum standards for the use of electric or electronic collars are in the code of welfare for dogs.
A code of welfare for zoo animals came into force in January 2005. Codes of welfare contain minimum standards and may include recommended best practices. The code for zoo animals includes details on such things as animal management, food and water, housing and environment, behaviour and stress, health and disease, transport, and euthanasia. A copy of this code is available on this website and in your public library, or can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
A code of welfare for circus animals came into force in January 2005. Codes of welfare contain minimum standards and may include recommended best practices. The code for circus animals includes details on such things as the obligations of owners, circus operation, food and water, shelter, accommodation and housing, animal training and performances, disease and injury control, and transport. A copy of this code is available on this website and in your public library, or it can be obtained by emailing email@example.com.
Animal welfare legislation can be found at www.legislation.govt.nz . Click on Statutes (which are listed alphabetically) and you will find the Animal Welfare Act. You can also purchase all legislation from Bennetts Bookshops.
Hard copies of the Guide to the Animal Welfare Act and the User’s Guide to Part 6 of the Animal Welfare Act 1999 (dealing with the use of animals in research, testing and teaching) can be obtained by emailing the Animal Welfare Group.
Codes of welfare can be found on this website or obtained by email. University libraries hold copies and you can request a copy from your public library.