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On 1st October 2019 new animal welfare regulations came into effect. For more information about these regulations visit MPI website here.

47. Collars and tethers

Collars

Poorly fitted collars can cause pain and distress. Check your animal’s collar regularly.

You’ll be OK if the collar you use meets these requirements:

  • Right size and fit for each individual animal.
  • Allows normal breathing, panting and drinking.
  • Not so tight or heavy that it can cause skin abrasions, cuts or swelling.
  • Not so loose that it can cause an injury, for example by getting a leg caught in the collar.

Otherwise, you can be fined $300.

Tethers

If you need to tether your animal, ensure that the tether you use:

  • is an appropriate length and material to allow normal breathing, panting, and drinking
  • keeps the animal from being caught up on nearby objects and injured.

Otherwise, you can be fined $300.

A tether is any form of restraint that secures any part of an animal to an object or the ground.

48. Use of electric prodders

Use of electric prodders is restricted.

  • In some limited circumstances, electric prodders can be used on the muscled hind or forequarters of:
    • cattle over 150kg
    • pigs, over 150kg, during loading or unloading for transport, or when loading into stunning pens
    • deer, when loading into a stunning pen.
  • If you use a prodder in these limited circumstances, the animal must be able to move away from the prodder.
  • If you use an electric prodder for any other purpose, you can be fined $500.
  • This regulation doesn’t cover situations where your personal safety is at risk.

49. Prodding animals in sensitive areas

Striking or prodding an animal in sensitive areas causes unreasonable pain and distress, and is prohibited.

  • Do not strike or prod an animal with a goad in the udder, anus, genitals or eyes.
  • If you don’t comply, you can be fined $500.
  • A goad is an object used to make an animal move but doesn’t include an electric prodder.

DOGS

12. Muzzles on dogs

Restrictive muzzles can cause your dog pain and distress.

You’ll be OK if the muzzle you use meets these requirements:

  • Right size and fit for each dog. A muzzle which works for one dog may not work for all.
  • Doesn’t cause cuts, swellings or abrasions.
  • Allows the dog to open its mouth for normal breathing, panting, drinking, and vomiting.

Otherwise, you can be fined $300.

  • You can use a more restrictive muzzle when giving treatment, including preventative treatment, but the dog must be under constant supervision. For example, a vet vaccinating a dog that is a safety risk can use a restrictive muzzle, provided the dog isn’t left unsupervised.
  • Check with your local authority for specific rules if you are required to muzzle your dog.

13. Dogs must have dry and shaded shelter

  • Your dog must have access to appropriate shelter.
  • Check on your dog regularly.

Your dog’s shelter and living area must meet these requirements:

  • Your dog can access a sheltered area at any time that is clean, dry, shaded, and ventilated – but not draughty – and protects them from extremes of heat and cold.
  • The sheltered area must be big enough for the dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down in a natural position.
  • The dog has constant access to water.
  • The dog’s droppings and urine don’t accumulate where they live.

Otherwise, you can be fined $300.

14. Dogs left in vehicles

Leaving your dog in the car on a warm day is a risk. Dogs quickly suffer and die in hot cars.

  • If you leave a dog in a hot car and it becomes heat stressed, you and the owner of the vehicle can be fined $300.

Thinking about bringing your dog on a journey? Plan ahead and ask yourself:

  • What’s the weather like?
  • Will you have to leave your dog in the car?
  • How long will the dog be in the car?
  • Is it better to leave the dog at home?

A hot dog seeks shade and may pant, drool, and hyperventilate.

  • If you see a dog suffering in a hot car, take immediate action. Find the dog owner or call the:

15. Dogs on moving vehicles

Dogs transported unsecured on the back of trucks, utes, and trailers can fall off or hang off the side, suffering severe injuries.

You’ll be OK when travelling on a public road if your dog is:

  • secured in a cage or crate, or
  • tied up safely when it’s on the back.

If you use a rope or leash, it must:

  • allow the dog to stand and lie down in a natural position
  • prevent the dog from getting its legs over the side of the vehicle.

Otherwise, you and the owner of the vehicle can be fined $300.

  • Farm dogs can be loose on a vehicle, including on public roads, when they are actively working.

47. Collars and tethers

Collars

Poorly fitted collars can cause pain and distress. Check your dog’s collar regularly.

You’ll be OK if the collar you use meets these requirements:

  • Right size and fit for each individual dog.
  • Allows normal breathing, panting, and drinking.
  • Not so tight or heavy that it can cause skin abrasions, cuts or swelling.
  • Not so loose that it can cause an injury – for example, by getting its leg caught in the collar.

Otherwise, you can be fined $300.

Tethers

If you need to tether your dog, make sure the tether:

  • is an appropriate length and material to allow normal breathing, panting, and drinking
  • doesn’t let the dog get caught up on nearby objects and injured.

Otherwise, you can be fined $300.

  • Don’t forget dogs need time off tethers for exercise.

51. Docking dogs’ tails

  • Routine tail docking (or ‘banding’) is no longer allowed.
  • If you dock your dog’s tail or allow it to be docked, you could face a criminal conviction and fine of up to $3,000 for an individual, or $15,000 for the business.
  • If your dog’s tail is injured, go to the vet.
  • If you see docked puppies for sale, report it to:

56. Removing dogs’ dewclaws

  • There are new restrictions on removing dogs’ dewclaws.
  • If you remove a front limb dewclaw, or an articulated hind limb dewclaw, from a dog of any age you could face a criminal conviction and a fine of up to:
    • $3,000 for an individual, or
    • $15,000 for a business
  • If your dog’s claws are injured, go to the vet
  • If you see puppies for sale that have their articulated dewclaws removed, report it to:

Report on tail docking

Due to the high interest in tail docking, MPI commissioned an independent review of the science and arguments supporting or opposing the practice. The report concluded that dog tail docking is:

  • a significant surgical procedure with the potential to cause considerable pain and distress
  • not justified by any benefit to the dog.

Affected parties were given a chance to comment on the report.

CHICKENS

Although these regulations are more relevant to commercial producers, if you own hens on a small scale you still need to meet these requirements.

21. Phased prohibition on the use of conventional cages

  • From 1 October 2018, using conventional cages after the transition dates listed in the regulation will be an offence.
  • If you don’t comply, you could face a criminal conviction and be fined up to:
    • $5,000 for an individual, or
    • $25,000 for a business.

22. Induced moulting

  • If you induce moulting in hens you could face a criminal conviction and a fine of up to:
    • $5,000 for an individual, or
    • $25,000 for a business.

You can contact MPI animalwelfare@mpi.govt.nz or call them on 0800 008 333

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