Codes of Welfare are issued by the Minister for Primary Industries (under the Animal Welfare Act 1999) and have important roles in helping to establish best practices, to ensure high standards of animal care. The Codes also outline minimum standards for care and handling of animals.
These minimum standards have legal effect in two possible ways:
Included in the codes of welfare are recommended best practices, to encourage everyone to not just achieve minimum standards, but to aim to improve the welfare of their animals by adopting best practice.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has put together 16 Codes of Welfare that include minimum standards, guidance information, and recommended best practices for animal welfare. These codes expand on the general obligations in the Animal Welfare Act, that require all people who own or are in charge of animals to meet their animals’ physical, health and behavioural needs.
There are 16 codes of Welfare, covering animals from dogs to dairy cattle, and situations such as Animal Rodeos and Painful Husbandry Procedures. You can find the full list (with amendments) on the Ministry for Primary Industries website.
Find out more about your legal obligations of care to cats and dogs in these brochures:
The 5 Freedoms are a set of internationally-recognised animal welfare standards on which the Codes of Welfare are based. They outline what we, as animal owners and carers, must provide. View the 5 Freedoms here.
If you believe the minimum standard of care in any of these Codes is being breached by an individual or an organisation and you wish to make a complaint, please call us on 09 256 7300 or the Ministry for Primary Industries on 0800 00 83 33.