Animal welfare regulations

New animal welfare regulations took effect on 1st October 2018 and 1 October 2019.

The NZVA was involved in the consultation and development of several of these regulations, which relate to a range of animals and activities.

The Animal Welfare (Care and Procedures) Regulations 2018 are more specific than the Animal Welfare Act 1999 (which covers high level obligations to provide for an animal's needs) and more directly enforceable than the Codes of Welfare. The new regulations make possible better enforcement of low-to-medium level animal welfare offending through:

  • Infringement notices: instant speeding ticket-type fines for offences against the regulations.
  • Prosecution: for more serious offending. Prosecution may result in a criminal conviction.

Find out more on the Ministry for Primary Industries website.

Other useful information

The NZVA Animal Welfare Policies that specifically relate to the Care and Procedure regulations found in their species-specific area.

For the public

The Ministry for Primary Industries has developed the 'Ask Reg' tool to give animal welfare guidance to owners and people in charge of animals.

Animal welfare investigation articles

The following collection of articles from the British Medical Journal provide advice on being involved in potential criminal animal welfare cases. They are written by James Yeates, Chief Veterinary Officer of the RSPCA, and specialist in animal welfare science, ethics and law. The articles can be purchased from the following links: