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30 October, 1998
"As a result of a strategic review of arrangements for the delivery of animal welfare field services, a new modus operandi will commence on 1 November 1998," said MAF National Manager, Animal Welfare and Environment, David Bayvel.
Since the introduction of the Animals Protection Act in the early 1960s, MAF Livestock Officers and Veterinarians have been involved, on a part-time basis, in investigating animal welfare complaints. "The development of new animal welfare legislation, the conversion of MAF Quality Management into a State Owned Enterprise and issues relating to Government accountability and potential conflicts of interest made it necessary to review historical arrangements," Dr Bayvel said.
This review was carried out in consultation with all key stakeholders and canvassed a number of options. "The decision to continue the involvement of MAF staff and to move to specialist appointments in the important area of animal welfare has the full support of Federated Farmers," national Vice President, Alistair Polson said.
From 1 November 1998, full time MAF Regulatory Authority Enforcement Unit staff will be located in Auckland, the Waikato, Palmerston North and Rangiora and will play a surveillance and education role, in addition to their primary enforcement responsibilities. An 0800 telephone number (0800 327027) has been established to ensure that all complaints are dealt with in the most cost effective manner.
The new MAF Enforcement Officers will continue to work closely with SPCA inspectors appointed under the Animals Protection Act. The overall MAF/RNZSPCA relationship, at a national level, has been reinforced by Government providing funding for inspector training and the development of an New Zealand Qualifications Authority nationally recognised training certificate.
The RNZSPCA National President, Peg Loague and the MAF Director-General Professor Bruce Ross recently signed a revised formal memorandum of understanding between the two agencies. "We look forward to our two organisations continuing to work closely together for the benefit of animal welfare in New Zealand, " Mrs Loague said.
For further information contact:
David Bayvel, MAF, Tel: (04) 4744251, Fax: (04) 4744133
Peg Loague, RNZSPCA Tel: (07) 3787630, Fax: (07) 3770781
Jockey Jensen, MAF Tel: (09) 3576472, Fax: (09) 3576480