Animal Welfare Overview


2 min read

Animal Welfare Act Animal welfare regulations Welfare Codes Who can I contact for more information or advice?

Animal welfare is central to good farming and goes beyond just caring for animals on the farm. This means adhering to standards set out by the Animal Welfare Act, the Dairy Cattle Code of Welfare and meeting consumer and market expectations. DairyNZ works with farmers and partners to promote best animal care practices, offering resources and training. Animal care is not only beneficial for the animals, but also for you, the farm, the dairy industry, and New Zealand as a whole.

Animal welfare is at the heart of any good farming business. Our responsibility for the wellbeing of stock starts at birth and continues, not only while they are in our care, but also beyond the farm gate.

Providing world-leading animal care is a part of everything; it is good for our animals, ourselves, the farm, the dairy industry and New Zealand.

At DairyNZ we take animal welfare seriously and work with farmers and industry partners to raise awareness that every animal should be treated with care and respect. We work to understand consumer and market expectations in animal welfare, provide training to build skills and develop resources to support the best standards of care.

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Animal Welfare Act

The Animal Welfare Act of 1999 sets out how people should take care of and act towards animals. The Act sets out the obligations of animal owners or people in charge of animals.

Animal welfare regulations

Changes to the Animal Welfare Act in May 2015 gave MPI the ability to make regulations under the Animal Welfare Act. This means that MPI can better enforce the Act by setting out clear rules to protect animal welfare.

Find out about animal welfare regulations here.

Welfare Codes

There are three codes of welfare that outline the industry agreed standards of animal care and good stockmanship practices. They are the Dairy Cattle, the Painful Husbandry Procedures and the Transport of Livestock within New Zealand Codes of Welfare. It is important that farmers know about Codes of Welfare because they set out the 'Minimum Standards' required to meet the welfare requirements of different animals. Failure to meet a Minimum Standard can lead to prosecution.

Who can I contact for more information or advice?

Animal welfare information: For guidance on regulations, minimum standards, and recommended best practices for specific animals or activities use the MPI tool Ask Reg

Veterinary advice: Your local vet

Report a welfare problem:

Last updated: Aug 2023
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