News & Press: NZVA media release

New Zealand Veterinary Association welcomes new animal welfare regulations

Tuesday, 18 July 2017  
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Today, the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, announced new animal welfare regulations under the Animal Welfare Act (1999). The New Zealand Veterinary Association welcomes these new regulations and believes they’re a win for the wellbeing of our animals and further reinforce New Zealand’s internationally recognised animal welfare standards.

The regulations set out a number of changes supported by the New Zealand Veterinary Association including:

Tail docking - Prohibiting unnecessary tail removal in dogs has been a long-fought battle for veterinarians. The regulation announced today, which is supported by the NZVA, prohibits tail docking unless by a veterinarian to treat a significant injury or disease.

Cattle disbudding - Pain relief when disbudding cattle will be mandatory under the new regulations. The NZVA have long signalled the importance of pain relief for procedures such as this. The NZVA views pain relief for disbudding as being accessible, practical, effective, and affordable.

Animal transportation - The proposed regulations will make existing restrictions on the transportation of lame, diseased, or ill animals enforceable. This reinforces the critical role that veterinarians have to play in New Zealand in protecting animal welfare through ensuring that only animals that are fit and sound are transported.

Dew claws - Currently, dew claws in newborn puppies can be removed by anyone for any purpose. The NZVA has long opposed this and believes front dew claws should never be removed from dogs, unless by a veterinarian in the case of injury or disease. This position has been supported by the Ministry in the proposed regulations.

"The NZVA acknowledges the enormous amount of work and consultation that has gone into the development of these regulations and we applaud the Ministry’s ongoing commitment to animal welfare in delivering them," NZVA Head of Veterinary Services Dr. Callum Irvine says.

"The New Zealand veterinary profession has an important role in advocating for animal welfare in this country. The NZVA supports all initiatives that bring greater clarity, transparency, and enforceability of the country’s animal welfare laws. We support New Zealand’s commitment to the wellbeing of all animals"