NAWAC Annual Report Released

The National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) issued its 2009 Annual Report today.

The development and review of codes of welfare were the main focus of NAWAC's work in 2009. A review of the pigs code of welfare was completed and work continued on layer hens, transport, commercial slaughter and sheep and beef cattle codes.

The committee also revised guidelines for writing codes of welfare, which included simplifying requirements; providing a checklist for drafters; and using outcome-based standards for assessing animal welfare.

"NAWAC has had discussions on key indicators for assessing animal welfare and is committed to, as far is possible, writing minimum standards as statements of welfare outcomes to be achieved from the animal's perspective rather than as prescriptions of facilities e.g. the size of cages" says Dr John Hellstrom, Chairman of NAWAC.

"Results from the public consultation on the draft transport code are being reviewed by NAWAC and this code will be the first to include these key indicators".

Following a recommendation from NAWAC that glueboard traps be banned from sale and use, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry sought public and industry feedback concerning future use of the traps and restricted them.

John Hellstrom also acknowledged the retirement of four very experienced committee members.

"As I became Chair of the committee in November 2009, I have to acknowledge that many key decisions and efforts had already been made by former Chair Peter O'Hara. He and his colleagues, Bruce Ross, Gwyneth Verkerk and John Martin all provided a wealth of perspective and experience as to how the Committee should operate to achieve its aims."

NAWAC is an independent advisory committee to the Minister of Agriculture. The committee was established under section 56 of the Animal Welfare Act 1999 to provide advice to the Minister on matters relating to the welfare of animals in New Zealand and to develop codes of welfare.

A copy of the annual report is available at or by request from

Issued by:
Lisa Gibbison, Senior Communications Adviser, Phone: 04 894 0432 / 029 894 0432, Email:



Last Updated: 22 September 2010

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