About Safeguarding our Animals, Safeguarding our Reputation

This programme encourages everyone to take responsibility for the welfare of animals.

Improving voluntary compliance

The Safeguarding our Animals, Safeguarding our Reputation programme is about improving voluntary compliance with animal welfare laws. Activities include:

  • developing resources to support farmers and veterinarians
  • educating people who work with production animals through workshops and conferences
  • improving awareness and understanding of regulations and codes of welfare.

The Animal Welfare Act, regulations and Codes of Welfare

The aim of the programme is to educate owners and people in charge of animals about their animal welfare responsibilities to improve compliance with the Animal Welfare Act 1999.

Codes of welfare provide information about the minimum standards required and recommended best practices for animal care. We encourage everyone who is an owner or who works with animals to be familiar with the code of welfare for their species or activities (for example, the Code of Welfare for Transport within New Zealand 2018).

Regulations have also been issued under the Animal Welfare Act 1999.

Regulations currently in force are for young calves, stock transport, farm husbandry, companion and working animals, pigs, layer hens, crustaceans, rodeos, and exporting live animals. More regulations that clarify who can carry out some surgical procedures on animals, and under what circumstances, will come into force on 9 May 2021.

Find out more


Current work

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Shelter for farm animals

Owners and people in charge of animals need to provide shelter and protection.

Under the Animal Welfare Act, animals need shelter to be protected from weather-related problems that could affect their health.

Winter grazing and mud

Check our advice and find out about the Winter Grazing Taskforce.

Animals need careful management in winter. Find out about risks, requirements, and solutions, and about the Winter Grazing Taskforce.

Animal transport

Ensure fit, healthy animals are transported carefully.

A group effort needed

Many people are involved in the transport of farm animals, including farmers, stock agents, truck drivers, veterinarians and meat company staff. They all have a role to ensure fit and healthy animals are transported carefully to their destination.

Are your animals fit for transport?

The Animal Welfare (Transport within New Zealand) Code of Welfare:

  • describes the minimum standards of care and management that need to be met when transporting animals
  • encourages all those responsible for transportation of animals to adopt the highest standards of husbandry, care and handling.

Animals are fit for transport when there are no signs of injury, sickness or poor health. 

Resources available

Resources have been developed by MPI with help from industry to outline the core requirements when selecting and transporting animals.

Download the 'Are Your Animals Fit for Transport?' poster [PDF, 2.4 MB]

Download the 'Are Your Animals Fit for Transport?' brochure [PDF, 1.6 MB] 

Find out more

Changes to live animal export rules

The Animal Welfare Amendment Act (No 2) 2015 Commencement Order 2016 came into force on 25 August 2016.

The provisions give MPI’s Director-General more powers to:

  • require reports on the welfare of animals during their journey and for up to 30 days after their arrival in the importing country
  • take that information into account when considering future export approvals.

In addition, the current regime under the Customs Export Prohibition (Livestock for Slaughter) Order 2013 was moved to regulations under the Animal Welfare Act. The Animal Welfare (Export of Livestock for Slaughter) Regulations 2016 came into force on 21 December 2016.

Working collaboratively with the livestock industry

The Farm to Processor Animal Welfare Forum.

The Safeguarding our Animals, Safeguarding our Reputation Programme has a vision of 'everyone taking responsibility for the welfare of animals'. To achieve this, we work with organisations across the supply chain to ensure people working with livestock know their responsibilities.

Bobby calf welfare

Improving the welfare of bobby calves

Find out what you need to do to ensure their welfare, the rules you must follow, and what we've learned from research.

Who to contact

If you have questions about animal welfare or the programme, email animalwelfare@mpi.govt.nz

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