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Animal Welfare Policy Summary

Mojo Mathers MP
Mojo Mathers MP
mojo [dot] mathers [at] parliament [dot] govt [dot] nz (Email)

Go to the detailed Animal Welfare Policy

Animals in our care must be treated humanely.

Farm animals have a right to lives free from cruelty where they can express a range of natural behaviours.

Clear labelling means consumers can make informed decisions when purchasing animal related products.

Battery hen cages and other cruel farming practices must be phased out.

Key Principles

1. Humans must ensure that all animals in their care are free from disease, discomfort and distress and can express a range of natural behaviours. 2. The most humane methods of controlling exotic pests should be used, so long as they are effective. 3. Consumers should be able to make informed purchasing decisions based on a desire to avoid contributing to animal suffering. 4. Non-violence and empathy towards all animals should be promoted 5. Experiments on animals should only be used where they are overwhelmingly beneficial and do not cause animal suffering 6. Animals must not experience suffering for economic or entertainment reasons.

Specific Policy Points

Supporting animal-friendly attitudes in humans

  • Require all producers to label their animal products according to strict criteria concerning the methods by which the animals were raised (e.g. caged vs barn-raised versus free-range hens).
  • Require all products to carry labels indicating whether they contain animal products, have been tested on animals or contain ingredients which have been tested on animals.
  • Support programs that promote empathy towards animals, at all levels of education.

Control of Pest Species

  • Encourage the development and use of pest control methods which involve the minimum of suffering.
  • Investigate non-lethal methods of pest control.

Ensuring good quality care for domestic animals.

  • Establish a Commissioner of Animal Welfare, independent of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, to develop, implement and monitor codes of animal welfare.
  • Phase out cruel techniques including debeaking of hens and mulesing of sheep.
  • Prohibit new, and phase out existing, factory farming of animals, including intensive outdoor feedlots. Sow crates will be allowed within 72 hours of farrowing.
  • Prohibit the importation of farmed furs unless it can be verified that the source animals were farmed under humane conditions.
  • Ensure that all agricultural animals are provided with shade, shelter and comfortable resting areas.
  • Work to ensure that animals are fed a diet which does not cause harmful side effects and is provided in a way that allows normal patterns of behaviour.
  • Close the loophole which allows the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) to set minimum standards which do not meet the obligations of the Animal Welfare Act.

    Reducing stress to animals from transportation

  • Require animals to be slaughtered as close as possible to the point of production.
  • Require transport conditions which minimise stress for animals.
  • Encourage the exchange of breeding material through semen, egg and embryo import and export.

    Animal Experimentation

  • Ensure that animal ethics committees have strong guidelines, are committed to minimizing animal use and have a thorough knowledge of non-animal methods of research.
  • Require animal ethics committees to make records of all their deliberations available to the public.
  • Support the development of non-animal methods for testing products.
  • Where non-animal methods do not exist, experiments and research on animals are limited to situations where:
    1. It is endeavoured that no animal suffers as a result, and
    2. The study can show the potential for overwhelming benefit to animals or humans.
  • Require all educational institutions to phase out intrusive animal experimentation as a teaching method.

Note: For the purposes of this policy, animals are defined as being all vertebrates, plus octopus, squid, crayfish, lobsters and crabs.

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