Animal welfare

Ministry for Primary Industries’ new animal welfare rules in place

[28 May/The Country] Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) announced 45 new animal welfare regulations under the Animal Welfare (Care and Procedures) Regulations 2018. These new regulations include restrictions on stock transportation, tail docking, castration and dehorning. Transporting lame stock, and stock with ingrown horns, diseased udders or advanced eye cancer is now prohibited. Tail docking...

Live animal export review needs a close look at welfare in destinations: SAFE

[05 April/The Country] Agricultural Minister Damien O’Connor has ordered his ministry to do a review of proposed life exports, after television images of exported cows collapsing and dying in Sri Lanka emerged . SAFE, animal advocate reports that officials must be sent to inspect animal welfare conditions in destination countries. SAFE ambassador Hans Kriek said the...

Farmer fined over cow-abuse case

[29 March/The Country] Murray Illing, a 52 year old Otago Farmer and Rodeo Enthusiast has been sentenced to a fine of $4602 in a case that is based on cow abuse. Between August and November 2017, Illing was the Manager of a dairy farm near Balclutha, in charge of two staff and responsible for 600...

Pig farrowing crates breach the law – lobby groups

[February /Radio NZ] Save Animals from Exploitation (SAFE) and the New Zealand Animal Law Association, have filed a writ in the High Court in Wellington saying the use of farrowing crates and mating crates by pig farmers breaches the Animal Welfare Act 1999. SAFE ambassador Hans Kriek stated that the crates confine a mother pig...

Calls for ban on live animal exports as Europe moves to tighten rules

[28 January/Stuff] Following the European Union’s decision to implement a ban on live animal exports to countries with weak animal welfare standards, animal rights groups are calling on New Zealand to introduce similar rules. A report recommending tougher rules for transporting live animals was approved last week by the EU Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and...

Charges laid after cows beaten with pipe

[4 December/Stuff] Six charges have been laid after hidden camera footage showed a Northland farmer beating cows with a pipe and other implements. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has filed charges against one person after receiving the footage. The footage drew swift criticism from industry leaders, including Federated Farmers animal welfare spokesman Chris Lewis....

DoC orders ‘extraordinary’ independent review into 1080 drop that killed cows

[28 September/The Country] A review has been initiated by the Department of Conservation after a 1080 drop was initiated, resulting in the death of cows. It said the step was to provide public confidence in its operations. Eight cows were found dead following the drop. Two cows were confirmed to have ingested the poison. DoC...

Pet-food firm owner sentenced on animal abuse charges

[20 September/Stuff] Six months’ community detention, 180 hours of community service, and a $90,000 fine were handed down to the owner of a pet food company at the centre of an animal abuse storm. Alan Martyn Cleaver was banned from owning or exercising any authority over animals for five years. Footage of abuse by one...

Tegel won’t be prosecuted over footage of dead and deformed chickens

[10 September/The Country] Footage inside one of Tegel’s farms showing dead and deformed chicken will not result in the company being prosecuted. Advocacy group, Direct Animal Action, captured the footage during two visits to a farm near Hellensville. It found dead chickens, lame chickens, cannibalised chickens, chickens lying down unable to get up, and deformed...

‘Whistle-blowers’ in animal abuse cases need protection – SAFE

[17 August/Radio NZ] SAFE is seeking to have whistle-blowers protected after they lodge animal abuse complaints. It said some farm workers had received death threats due to reporting animal abuse, and they had no confidence in the Ministry for Primary Industries. SAFE’s Chief Executive, Debra Ashton, said whistle-blowers were vital in preventing animal abuse on...

Vets open to pan-industry initiative on grazing

[14 August/Rural Life] The New Zealand Veterinary Association said it would embrace a pan-industry initiative on winter grazing. It expressed concerns about animal welfare consequences caused by poor practices. Chief Veterinary Officer, Helen Beattie, added there were common practices in some areas that often resulted in poor welfare for animals and environmental damage. She had...

Scientists question govt’s predator-free by 2050 goal

[16 July/Radio NZ] A campaign to make New Zealand predator free by 2050 has been called expensive, unworkable and unethical by a Victoria University academic. The scheme was introduced by the National led government and focusses on eliminating possums, stoats, and rats. Victoria University Scientist, Wayne Linklater, said it was poorly thought out as the...

Govt could appoint commissioner to improve animal welfare

[3 July/Stuff] A commissioner for animals could be possible when the Government attempts to improve animal welfare. Minister for Animal Welfare, Meka Whaitiri, released the framework for action on animal welfare a day after footage of a farmer abusing cows in a milking shed was made public. Ms Whaitiri said New Zealander’s took animal welfare...

Animal welfare minister ‘disturbed’ by new abuse case

[28 June/The Country] According to Associate Agriculture Minister, Meka Whaitiri, footage of a farmer violently hitting cows was disturbing. She said more animal welfare inspectors were a priority for the government. She emphasised that any bad treatment of animals, regardless of the reason, was not acceptable. She added the Ministry for Primary Industries was investigating...

Hidden footage shows cows abused, hit in milking shed

[28 June/NZ Herald] Footage that showed a Northland farmer violently and repeatedly hitting cows with weapons had been given to the Ministry for Primary Industries who investigated the claims, but the inquiry was dropped due to lack of evidence. Advocacy group, Farmwatch, has subsequently gathered further evidence, which it has now passed to MPI and...

Farm animals’ feelings focus on pioneering NZ study

[5 June/The Country] Scientists said exploring farm animal moods and personalities could help us improve their welfare, as well as the farms they’re found in. AgResearch Scientist, Dr Gosia Zobel, said they couldn’t directly measure how animals were feeling, so there was a need to find indirect measures which was what they were trying to...

Rotorua farm wins Ahuwhenua Trophy

 [30 May/Stuff] A small, yet productive dairy farm owned by Onuku Maori Lands Trust won the Ahuwhenua Trophy for Maori excellence in dairy farming, The announcement was made by the Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy in Christchurch. The farm milks 220 cows, producing about 90,000kg of milksolids. Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee Chairman, Kingi Smiler, said...

Hui on animal welfare

[15 May/Rural News] An all-day hui has been called to discuss priorities of the country’s animal welfare groups by the Associate Minister of Agriculture, Meka Whaitiri. The hui aimed to follow up on a promise not to ban rodeos. Ms Whaitiri said she wanted to hear the views and priorities of the country’s animal advocates...

New rules see fines for owners leaving dogs to overheat in cars

[29 March/NZ Farmer] People transporting sick or injured animals to slaughter plants could be fined $500. Cabinet approved a range of new regulations including fines for people using electric prodders. Fines had also been approved for people who leave dogs to overheat in cars or do not provide them with enough dry and shaded shelter....

Government won’t ban rodeo, animal welfare Minister says

[1 March/The Country] The Associate Minister of Agriculture, Meka Whaitiri, does not believe rodeos are harmful enough to be banned. She did however ask the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) to address some issues raised by animal activists. The former Ministry for Primary Industries National MP, Nathan Guy, supported Ms Whaitiri’s decision and added...

Dairy strategy prioritises environment, animal welfare

[22 November/ Radio New Zealand] Dairy NZ, Federated Farmers, the Dairy Council of New Zealand and the Dairy Women’s Network have unveiled a new strategy called Dairy Tomorrow. The new strategy would look at the future of farming in New Zealand and ways to improve it over the next decade. It would be based on...

Farmer fined for not treating diseased cow

[11 November/New Zealand Herald] Hastings Farmer Cedric Walter McGhie appeared in the Hastings District Court on Wednesday for sentencing after pleading guilty to two animal welfare charges. In November 2015, he sent a cow to the meat works with eye cancer. He claimed that he noticed the cow had its eye closed but did not...

Successful surgery on Queenstown kiwi

[9 November/New Zealand Herald] A breeding female kiwi at a Queenstown sanctuary has been saved by a rare emergency C-section. The Kiwi Birdlife Park keepers found Tawahi the kiwi having seizures. She was rushed to a vet where experts decided Tawahi was suffering from egg-binding meaning she was unable to lay her egg. She was...

Cows slaughtered after Mycoplasma bovis outbreak will be processed for food

[13 October/New Zealand Herald] A Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) spokeswoman has confirmed that the 4000 cows affected by the bacterial disease Mycoplasma bovis will go to the works for food processing as the sickness is not a food safety risk. A Spokeswomen said that no animals which are sick, severely injured or who have...