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Source: SAFE For Animals

The days of winter grazing and colony cages could be numbered, along with other practices inconsistent with the Animal Welfare Act 1999, following a ground-breaking report from the Regulations Review Committee.
The Committee has told the Government to conduct a prompt review of the process for developing secondary legislation under the Act, and whether all secondary legislation, particularly codes of welfare, are consistent with the intentions of the Act.
SAFE CEO Debra Ashton says the animal welfare framework in New Zealand is overdue for a shake-up.
“We need to wait and see what this review looks like, but this could be a game-changer for animals,” says Ashton.
“Take colony cages for example, which SAFE has been calling to be banned for years. They’re still in use, even though they breach the Animal Welfare Act. Clearly, the process right now for developing codes of welfare is deeply flawed.”
The Committee’s recommendation was in response to the New Zealand Animal Law Association’s (NZALA) report Farmed Animal Welfare Law in New Zealand . The Committee found the volume of complaints regarding inconsistencies between secondary legislation, like codes of welfare, and the Act, highlighted the need for a substantive review.
“NZALA and SAFE had to go to court to challenge the use of farrowing crates, which should never have needed to happen. Small cages where animals can’t even turn around are not in line with the intentions of the Act, which requires that animals have the ability to express normal patterns of behaviour.”
“Clearly, a lack of independent advice has led to this perverse situation where codes of welfare do not align with the Animal Welfare Act. Our expectation is that the Government appoints an independent Commissioner for Animals to conduct this review. The Commissioner should then have continued oversight of the enforcement and regulatory regime.”