Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has introduced a Bill to Parliament to update and strengthen animal welfare in New Zealand.
The Bill will allow the government to create enforceable regulations that set out how farm and domestic animals should be treated. It also will give wider powers to deal with people who breach welfare laws, Guy said (here).
It includes new direct protections for New Zealand’s wild animals, animals being exported to other countries, and those being used in research.
“This comes from a comprehensive review of the Animal Welfare Act 1999 which found that while the principles are sound, the time is right to update and improve how it operates. This will make the legislation easier to enforce, and make it clearer and more transparent.
“It matters how we treat animals, both to ourselves and for our international trading reputation. This Bill will make that reputation even stronger.”
Guy last week released the New Zealand Animal Welfare Strategy, which sets the direction for animal welfare in New Zealand. The Bill is an important step toward that future.
Further information on the Bill is available at http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/biosec/consult/proposals-for-aw-strategy-and-aw-act