Animal Welfare

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) leads and facilitates the management of animal welfare policy and practice in New Zealand. It promotes policies for the humane treatment of animals, and is a key participant in the ongoing animal welfare debate.

To report an animal welfare issue or complaint please call 0800 008 333

Complaints made about non- compliance with the Animal Welfare Act 1999 including cases of animal ill-treatment or cruelty are investigated by MPI and the SPCA. While the vast majority of complaints are dealt with through consultation and education, successful prosecutions against persistent or blatant offenders are routinely undertaken.

The Animal Welfare Act provides for codes of animal welfare to be created and reviewed at least every 10 years. You can make submissions on any codes open for consultation.

New Zealand has had a long history of exporting a wide variety of live animals, including alpacas, aviary birds, bees, cattle, deer, cats and dogs, goats, horses, and sheep. Animals being exported from New Zealand require an animal welfare export certificate, unless exempt under the Animal Welfare Act 1999.

Commercial exporters must be registered. Cattle, sheep, deer and goats are defined as livestock, and may be exported for breeding.

To find out more about the group's activities click below:


Last Updated: 08 August 2014

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0800 00 83 33