The Green Party's mark for Animal Agenda Aotearoa is 18.5. It received three marks for having an animal spokesperson and an animal policy and for responding to Animal Agenda Aotearoa. It then received a mark of 15.5 out of 17 for its response to the 17 specific items on Animal Agenda Aotearoa.
2017 POLITICAL PARTY QUESTIONNAIRE ABOUT ANIMAL POLICIES - RESPONSE FORM
Do you have an animal policy? If it is available, please attach the animal policy you will be taking into the 2017 election.
Yes, our animal welfare policy is available online here - https://www.greens.org.nz/page/animal-welfare-policy (summary) and https://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/animal_welfare_20170322.pdf (full policy).
Do you have an animal spokesperson?
Yes, our animal welfare spokesperson is Mojo Mathers
Party response to Animal Agenda Aotearoa 2017
1 Ban rodeos - support
The Green Party strongly believes animals must not suffer to provide entertainment for people. Specifically, we support a ban on the use of animals in rodeo events, as these events rely on inflicting pain and distress to animals to get them to perform. We are particularly opposed to calf roping, as the use of baby animals for such events is completely unjustified.
We supported the petition signed by 60,000 people calling for a ban, and were the only party to criticise the select committee for the failure to recommend action on rodeo.
2 Abolish factory farming – support
The Green Party is committed to phasing out methods that cause suffering to animals or prevent them from expressing normal patterns of behaviour. We have consistently spoken out strongly against many forms of factory farming, including colony cages. Our policy is to prohibit new, and phase out existing, factory farming of animals, including highly intensive outdoor facilities such as feedlots.
3 Work to ban animal testing – support
The Green Party will require non-animal methods of experimentation and testing to be used wherever they exist, including by developing a public database of alternatives to animal testing. We will also strongly support the development of non-animal methods for all research, testing, and teaching.
4 Slaughterhouse cameras – support
It is extremely important to ensure that slaughterhouses are compliant with the law.
5 Ban greyhound racing – More information needed
Our policy is that animals should not suffer for entertainment. We would require all racing codes that use animals to make publicly available the numbers of animals bred, raced, injured, euthanised and re-homed or retired from racing. These statistics would help inform what further action may be needed to ensure protection for animals used in greyhound racing. Our proposed Office for Animal Welfare would also monitor and review welfare in the racing sector.
6 Animal cruelty sentencing guidelines - support
We do believe there should be sentencing guidelines under the Sentencing Act. We believe guidelines will bring clarity around sentencing, making it more uniform and ensure that punishments for animal cruelty will become fairer and more balanced.
We will also encourage and support programs that promote respect and empathy towards animals, at all levels of education.
7 Recognise cruelty link - support
The Green Party recognises that there is a link between animal cruelty, child abuse and domestic violence. We have been vocal on all three issues and believe the Government should be doing more to protect all vulnerable beings, be they human or animals. The Green Party will be willing to seek guidance from the Law Commission and other relevant parties on the changes required to current legislation to ensure the protection of animals.
8 Adequate shelter – support
We will ensure that all agricultural animals are provided with appropriate shade, shelter and comfortable resting areas.
On transportation, we know that many animals suffer when they are transported and so the Green Party will require animals to be slaughtered as near as possible to the point of production, support the development of more localised slaughter houses, and require specific transport conditions, in order to minimise stress for animals.
We’d also prohibit the transport of live farm animals for slaughter where the journey exceeds eight hours from point of pick up to slaughter, and significantly strengthen the protection for bobby calves who are particularly vulnerable to rough handling and mistreatment during transport.
9 Commissioner for Animals – support
In order to ensure some independence to the government’s work on animal welfare, the Green Party will establish both a Minister for Animal Welfare and an Independent Commissioner of Animal Welfare.
The Minister for Animal Welfare must be held separately to the portfolio of primary industries, and would be supported by an Office for Animal Welfare that would be responsible for carrying out the policy, monitoring, compliance and enforcement work that is currently part of the Ministry of Primary Industries.
The independent Commissioner of Animal Welfare would ensure animals have a strong voice, independent of both political parties and of Ministries. The Commissioner would report to parliament, and would appoint members of the NAWAC and National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee. One of the powers of the Commissioner would be to review and report on animal welfare codes and regulations to protect animals.
10 Ban surgical mutilation – support
The Green Party opposes all unnecessary surgical techniques that harm animals, including ending unnecessary and painful tail docking for cattle and dogs.
11 Prohibit painful devices – support
We support a ban on electric shock collars, gin traps, electric prodders and any other type of contraption used to cause animals pain or physical harm for the purposes of control or training.
We support stronger enforcement of rules around fireworks, in particular we want the peak noise levels reduced as current thresholds are much too high and this is the element that causes stress and anxiety for animals. We would promote the uptake of ‘quiet’ fireworks as has happened overseas.
12 Restrict animals in entertainment – support
One of the key principles of our animal welfare policy is that animals must not be subject to any distress, pain or suffering for entertainment reasons. That includes supporting a ban on the use of animals in rodeo events, and requiring all racing codes that use animals to make publicly available the numbers of animals bred, raced, injured, euthanised, and re-homed or retired from racing through birth to death reporting.
13 Legal personality for animals – support in part
We support this for animals with exceptionally high intelligence and social development, including dolphins, great apes and elephants. When the animal welfare amendment bill was being debated, we put up an amendment to give Great Apes special recognition and prohibit the killing of great apes.
14 Ban live export – support in part
Live export of animals by sea often involves high casualty rates and stress for the animals involved, so we will continue to support a prohibition on the export of animals for slaughter. We will also tighten the current rules to prevent the export of animals for slaughter under the guise of export for breeding. We’d end the export of live animals for breeding to countries without acceptable animal welfare regulations. We will encourage the exchange of breeding material, such as through semen and egg import and export.
15 Ban permanent chaining and tethering – support
We would ban the life chaining of animals, such as dogs and goats.
16 Promote sustainable land uses – support
The Green Party is very concerned about the environmental damage caused by intensive dairying, particularly to our freshwater. We would like to see a moratorium on new dairy farms and a plan for reducing the number of cows on our paddocks to halt water pollution.
17 Ban foie gras - support
Force feeding animals for the sake of a ‘luxury’ food item is exceptionally cruel and we should not allow such products to be imported.