All animals have a base level of care that they are entitled to. The Animal Welfare Act 1999 (The Act) clearly outlines the needs of animals as follows:
- Proper and sufficient food, and proper and sufficient water
- Adequate shelter
- The opportunity to display normal patterns of behaviour
- Physical handling in a manner which minimises the likelihood of unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress
- Protection from, and rapid diagnosis of, any significant injury or disease
Current agricultural models and codes of welfare often do not come anywhere near this bare minimum standard, especially in factory farming. Additionally, there is limited action or motivation from decision makers or overseers in government to correct what are clear breaches of The Act in Codes of Welfare (The Codes) and farming practices.
In 2021 The New Zealand Animal Law Association identified numerous areas where The Codes fall short of provisions in The Act. Yet these issues identified as potential breaches remain. AJP also advocates strongly for an independent Commissioner for Animals as the current role of Minister for Animal Welfare is within the Ministry for Primary Industries. More details on this can be found in our Policy ‘Independent Commissioner for Animals’1.
AJP does not condone the use of any animals for food, or other products, and rejects the need for animal agriculture. However, AJP recognises that societal changes, and a ‘Just Transition’ will take time. For as long as animal agriculture continues, we are committed to campaigning for legislative changes that will ensure reduced harm and mistreatment to farmed animals.