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16 October 2009
Minimum standards of animal welfare and recommended best practices for everyone involved in animal transport in New Zealand are outlined in a draft code of welfare released for consultation by the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) today.
Transport can be a time of great stress for animals and it is important that it is done well. The code is intended to encourage all those responsible for the welfare of animals during transport to exceed minimum standards and adopt best industry practices of husbandry, care and handling.
Covering all animals and all forms of transport within New Zealand, the code includes transport by air, land and sea. Proposed minimum standards include equipment design and maintenance; preparation and selection of animals for transport; loading and unloading; the provision of food, water and rest and responsibilities to meet stockmanship, competency and code requirements.
Specific requirements for transport in emergencies and emergency humane destruction are also included.
NAWAC Chairman Peter O'Hara says transport can have a significant impact on animal welfare if done poorly and this code is a high priority for NAWAC for that reason.
"Transportation of animals is stressful and the purpose of this code of welfare is to encourage everyone responsible for the transport to minimise that stress by adopting the highest standards during transport".
This code is the first to be produced with suggested indicators for assessing animal welfare for each minimum standard. Details for the transport of specific animals, such as chickens or pigs are covered by specific codes of welfare for those animals.
NAWAC is now seeking public feedback on the draft code which is available at www.biosecurity.govt.nz/biosec/consult/draft-code-animal-welfare. The closing date for submissions is 30 November 2009.
Any person may make submissions on the draft code and should do so in writing to:
MAF Biosecurity New Zealand
PO Box 2526
Or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Gibbison, Senior Communications Adviser, MAF Biosecurity New Zealand
Phone: 04 894 0432 / 029 894 0432