Detail about new stock regulations

Farmers urged to check animal welfare regulations

Farmers urged to check animal welfare regulations

LOOK AFTER YOUR STOCK: New Animal Welfare (Care and Procedures) Regulations 2018 were passed into law this week. The new regulations allow for “better enforcement of low to medium animal welfare offending” says MPI. File picture

THE new Animal Welfare (Care and Procedures) Regulations 2018 took effect from Monday this week.

Farmers have been urged to check the regulations and Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) guidance, to make sure they comply with them.

A guide to the new regulations is widely available, and can be found on the MPI and Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) websites.

The new regulations allow for what MPI describes as “better enforcement of low to medium animal welfare offending”.

Severe animal cruelty is covered under the Animal Welfare Act 1999.

Most of the regulations applied from October 1 but regulations around disbudding and dehorning cattle were delayed until October 1, 2019 to give animal owners and practitioners like veterinarians and contractors time to prepare.

“To make sure codes of welfare are consistent with the regulations, the regulations make changes to some minimum standards. These changes take effect in October 2018 and the codes have been updated and reissued,” said the B+LNZ guide.

“Most of the regulations are based on existing minimum standards in the codes of welfare, so if you’re already doing it right you won’t see a lot of change. But some people may need to change farm policies, provide additional staff training and make other changes to the way they care for their animals.”

For example, when it comes to collars and tethers, 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, and 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.

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

The 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.”

The regulation does not cover situations where a farmer’s personal safety is at risk.

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

“Do not strike or prod an animal with a goad in the udder, anus, genitals or eyes,” the guide said.

A goad is an object used to make an animal move but does not include an electric prodder.

THE new Animal Welfare (Care and Procedures) Regulations 2018 took effect from Monday this week.

Farmers have been urged to check the regulations and Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) guidance, to make sure they comply with them.

A guide to the new regulations is widely available, and can be found on the MPI and Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) websites.

The new regulations allow for what MPI describes as “better enforcement of low to medium animal welfare offending”.

Severe animal cruelty is covered under the Animal Welfare Act 1999.

Most of the regulations applied from October 1 but regulations around disbudding and dehorning cattle were delayed until October 1, 2019 to give animal owners and practitioners like veterinarians and contractors time to prepare.

“To make sure codes of welfare are consistent with the regulations, the regulations make changes to some minimum standards. These changes take effect in October 2018 and the codes have been updated and reissued,” said the B+LNZ guide.

“Most of the regulations are based on existing minimum standards in the codes of welfare, so if you’re already doing it right you won’t see a lot of change. But some people may need to change farm policies, provide additional staff training and make other changes to the way they care for their animals.”

For example, when it comes to collars and tethers, 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, and 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.

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

The 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.”

The regulation does not cover situations where a farmer’s personal safety is at risk.

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

“Do not strike or prod an animal with a goad in the udder, anus, genitals or eyes,” the guide said.

A goad is an object used to make an animal move but does not include an electric prodder.

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