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Source: SAFE NZ

World Animal Protection has downgraded New Zealand’s animal protection ranking in a recently released report.
The Animal Protection Index ranks 50 countries around the world according to their animal welfare policies and legislation. The index awarded New Zealand’s animal protection efforts an ‘A’ in 2014, however World Animal Protection has downgraded New Zealand to a C ranking in their latest report.
Their recently released report cites several areas of concern: New Zealand’s codes of welfare are not legally binding and undermine the principles of the Animal Welfare Act 1999; the Ministry for Primary Industries has a conflict of interest and prioritises economics ahead of animal welfare; and cruel practices such as colony cages, farrowing crates, rodeo and live export have yet to be banned.
SAFE CEO Debra Ashton says the ranking shows New Zealand’s animal practices need to align with its legislation.
“This report should be a wakeup call for the Government,” says Ashton.
“The Animal Welfare Act recognises that animals are sentient, yet we still keep hens and pigs in barren cages. So-called rodeo ‘cowboys’ continue to bully animals every summer, and we’re still shipping millions of live animals overseas. We’re undermining our own legislation.”
“We’re not surprised that New Zealand has been downgraded. New Zealand’s track record is appalling.”
A particular concern highlighted by the report is the Ministry of Primary Industries’ (MPI) role as the body with primary responsibility for animal welfare. The Ministry’s main concern is to promote and increase exports, which conflicts with its animal welfare responsibilities. The report also notes that the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee has made very slow progress on producing regulations.
“MPI’s role as the body responsible for animal welfare is like having the fox guard the henhouse.”
“Our international reputation is at risk if we don’t make changes to the way we treat animals. It’s time for the Government to establish an independent body responsible for animal welfare and to allocate adequate funding for the proper monitoring and enforcement of animal welfare standards.”