Animal welfare regulations - surgical procedures

The new regulations, the Animal Welfare (Care and Procedures) Amendment Regulations 2020, are available on the NZ Legislation website here.  They will be incorporated into the Animal Welfare (Care and Procedures) Regulations 2018 in the future.

Regulations that relate to the use of electric prodders on pigs and the introduction of an infringement fee for non-compliance with a Compliance Notice will come into force on 27 August 2020. The remaining regulations, which relate to surgical procedures on animals, will come into force on 9 May 2021. In the meantime the status quo will continue until the regulations commence on 9 May 2021.

The regulation on freeze branding dogs may be of particular interest to hunters (copied below). This comes into force on 9 May 2021. My team will be developing key messages and guidance on the regulations, so that they are more easily understood, and will also look at how to best reach affected people. It would be great to work with you on this, if possible. Would you be available to meet sometime over the next few weeks to discuss?

55JFreeze branding dogs

(1) A person must not freeze brand a dog unless throughout the procedure the dog is under the influence of pain relief that is authorised by a veterinarian for the purpose of the procedure.

(2) The owner of, and every person in charge of, a dog must not allow the dog to be freeze branded in breach of subclause (1).

(3) A person who freeze brands a dog must—

(a) be experienced with, or have received training in, the correct use of the method being used; and

(b) be able to recognise early signs of significant distress, injury, or ill-health so that the person can take prompt remedial action or seek advice.

(4) The owner of, and every person in charge of, a dog that is to be freeze branded must ensure that the health and welfare needs of the animal are met during the procedure and recovery, by ensuring that at all times a person is available who—

(a) has suitable equipment; and

(b) has the relevant knowledge, has received relevant training, or is under appropriate supervision.

(5) A person who fails to comply with subclause (1) or (2) commits an offence and is liable on conviction,—

(a) in the case of an individual, to a fine not exceeding $3,000; or

(b) in the case of a body corporate, to a fine not exceeding $15,000.