NZVA - New Zealand Veterinary Association


Protecting your pet's welfare

These policies set out the NZVA view on specific animal welfare topics. Check back in November as we plan to add information sheets on other topics related to companion animal welfare such as managing fireworks around pets.

Canine tail docking

A dog's tail must only be docked by a veterinarian to manage existing disease or injury as it can cause negative welfare outcomes such as chronic pain, hyperalgesia and reduced abilities for social communication. Tail injuries are also usually simply managed so docking for injury prevention is not justifiable.

Dangerous Dog Position Description

Dog aggression is responsible for a significant public health burden in New Zealand. The veterinary profession’s knowledge of dogs and their deep understanding of how society and dogs interact is the foundation for these solution based recommendations on how to manage this complex issue.

First digit amputation in dogs

The NZVA is opposed to the prophylactic amputation of the forelimb first digit unless required to manage existing disease or injury. During a running turn, the first digit contacts the ground, giving support to the dog's lower forelimb, preventing torque and reducing stress on joints.

Use of behavioural modifying electronic collars in dogs

The NZVA recommends that the emphasis in training dogs should be on reward and positive reinforcement. Punishment based methods such as behavioural modifying electronic collars may be detrimental to the welfare of the dog and cause increased behavioural problems.

Renal Transplantation in cats

The NZVA does not support feline kidney transplant programmes in New Zealand. This procedure is associated with complex ethical considerations and there is a lack of evidence that the procedure provides clear benefits to recipients.

Managing firework phobias in companion animals

Under development
Check back in November for information on this topic.