The National Party's mark for Animal Agenda Aotearoa is 4.5 out of 20. The National Party has provided detailed answers to the Animal Agenda Aotearoa questions. They are as follows - 

  1. Ban rodeos - National is not proposing to ban rodeos. Under National, there was a major review of the rules around rodeos in 2014, which led to the specific Animal Code of Welfare for Rodeos. The code requires a vet to be onsite at all times at every rodeo, and for animals to be handled in a way that minimises pain, injury or distress. Under National, we've also amended the Animal Welfare Act which will make these codes easier to enforce.

  2. Intensive Farming - National is proposing progressive and pragmatic improvements to indoor farming operations. Under National, the Government launched the New Zealand Animal Welfare Strategy - setting out a high-level framework for how we treat animals. National intends to proceed with its decision to ban the use of battery cages and sow stalls. Recent codes of welfare for pigs and layer hens require that sow stalls are no longer to be used from the end of 2015, and battery cages no longer used from the end of 2022. With the use of farrowing crates, we know that sows are less likely to crush piglets when compared to outdoor operations. There are restrictions on the amount of time sows can spend in farrowing crates, and they must be of a certain quality of construction.  

  3. Animal Testing -  Under National, we have now ruled out the use of animal testing for psychoactive substances. There is however a distinction between animal testing to assess a drug used for recreation use versus those used for medicinal reasons. That's why we continue to support provisions in the Animal Welfare Act, which allows limited testing for medicines that can be used to save humans' lives.

  4. Slaughterhouse Monitoring - National is not proposing to implement universal slaughterhouse cameras funded by the taxpayer.

  5. Greyhound Racing - National is not proposing to ban greyhound racing. This is a successful industry supporting many jobs across the country.

  6. Sentencing - Penalties and sentences for animal welfare cases are more appropriately covered under the Animal Welfare Act. Under National we've passed the Animal Welfare Amendment Act that has created directly enforceable regulations, with their own offences and penalties. These new regulations will sit alongside codes of welfare and provide more enforcement options for animal welfare inspectors.

  7. The Link - The Government is committed to ending animal cruelty, child abuse and domestic violence. Animal welfare is more appropriately managed under the Animal Welfare Act.

  8. Shelter & Transport - The Act requires owners and people in charge of animals [to ensure] that their animal's physical health and behavioural needs are met. This includes providing shelter appropriate to the species, environment and circumstances of the animals.

  9. Commissioner For Animals - National is not proposing to appoint a Commissioner for Animals. This is because the AnimalWelfare Amendment Act passed by National has made our laws clearer and easier to enforce.

  10. Surgical Mutilation - National is currently consulting with the public on proposals to restrict issues such as declawing and shortening of tails.

  11. Painful Devices - All devices that may be use don animals, such as you have listed, must be sold and used in accordance with the Act and any relevant regulations under it. For example, some leg-hold traps are restricted under the Animal Welfare (Leg-Hold Traps) Order 2007.

  12. Animals In Entertainment - There are currently no exotic animals in New Zealand circuses. There is a code of welfare for circus animals, which sets detailed requirements for how exotic animals kept in circuses must be cared for. 

  13. Legal Personhood - Animals are sentient and this is now widely accepted in New Zealand. The Animal Welfare Act now recognises the sentience of animals by placing a duty of care on owners and people in charge of animals to meet the physical health and behavioural needs of their animals.

  14. Live Export - Live exports of animals for slaughter are currently restricted by a Customers Export Prohibition Order. Live exports of animals for breeding purposes can be allowed under very strict conditions that ensure that the wellbeing of the animals is met. Animals that are exported for breeding purposes are extremely valuable and it is in the importer and exporter's interest that the animals are kept in excellent health.

  15. Chaining - The Government is currently publicly consulting on proposals that set out requirements for animals on tethers including that they have access to food, water and shade and dry shelter at all times. The tether must also canot cause pain or injury or prevent normal breathing or drinking.

  16. Animal Agriculture - National believes that land uses are best managed at a regional council level on a catchcment-by-catchment basis. However, under National, this Government had been the first to introduce a National Policy Statement for Freshwater that guides regional councils on improving the quality of waterways over time.

  17. Ban the production, import and sale of foie gras - Foie gras is banned for production in New Zealand and consumers should exercise their discretion as to whether they consume any foie gras produced in other countries.

In 2014 we interviewed the political parties about their animal policies on the tv programme Paws for Thought. National MP Nikki Kaye spoke on behalf of National about its animal policies -

© 2017 Animal Agenda Aotearoa

Animal Agenda Aotearoa 2017
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