While New Zealand’s animal welfare systems are regarded as some of the best in the world, the boundary between acceptable and unacceptable treatment of animals is always evolving. Federated Farmers is a strong advocate in actively ensuring that everyone knows their obligations to treat all animals humanely.
From a farming view point we have the responsibility to adhere to animal welfare legislation and associated codes of welfare. It is also our responsibility to ensure that farm employers are educated and have the tools to ensure that their employees are properly trained to adequately care for animals. It is Government’s responsibility to ensure that animal welfare requirements are relevant, workable from a farm management perspective and are science based.
When it comes to inspection or prosecution of farmers it is critical that Federated Farmers is given the opportunity to work closely with Government animal welfare inspectors to ensure that processes are carried out which recognize the often complex and multiple cause of animal welfare issues including mental illness. None of our farmers want a regimental militant approach to animal welfare compliance and enforcement, so it is important that we are part of the equation.
We agree that the deliberate neglect or ill treatment of animals is not acceptable. Everyone has a moral and ethical responsibility to ensure animal welfare requirements are adhered to. Ill-treated farm animals do not produce well or gain condition so good animal welfare is good for business, just as bad animal welfare is self-destructive. As an organisation, Federated Farmers is proactive in educating our members about best practice and how to meet animal welfare requirements.
Ensuring open trade access is critical to the New Zealand farming community. International animal welfare codes must reflect modern day farming practices and be based on science. Economic considerations need to be part of the development process.
The Federation promotes partnerships with other parties interested in animal welfare such as the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, National Animal Welfare Emergency Management Committee and World Animal Protection