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Proposed Code of Welfare for Deer

Have your say

The National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) has reviewed the Code of Welfare for Deer (2018).

The committee has determined that the code requires amendments to incorporate:

  • advances in animal welfare science
  • updates to deer farming systems and management practices
  • changing views and expectations by the New Zealand public.

NAWAC welcomes your feedback on the proposed changes to the code and associated recommendations for regulations.

Consultation opened on 15 September 2022 and closes on 10 November 2022.

Consultation documents

Deer Code of Welfare: Proposed changes [PDF, 394 KB]

Draft Proposed Code of Welfare for Deer [PDF, 768 KB]

Code review evaluation report for proposed Code of Welfare for Deer [PDF, 659 KB]

Related document

Code of Welfare (Deer) 2018 (the current code) [PDF, 581 KB]

What's being proposed?

NAWAC has committed to a programme to review the existing codes of welfare issued under the Animal Welfare Act 1999, beginning with priority livestock codes for dairy cattle, sheep and beef cattle, and deer.

NAWAC has reviewed the Code of Welfare for Deer, and is consulting on updated minimum standards and recommendations for best practice. The objective is to lift the codes to address changes in scientific knowledge, good practice, available technology, and the explicit recognition of sentience in the Animal Welfare Act. There are also proposed regulations that, if enacted, will relate to deer.

Proposals for changes to existing minimum standards include:

  • stockpersonship
  • animal handling and restraint
  • feed and water
  • shade and shelter
  • farm and off-paddock facilities
  • hand-reared and orphan fawns
  • weaning
  • pre-transport selection and management
  • disease and injury control.

Proposals for new minimum standards include:

  • deer behaviour
  • selection and breeding
  • mating, semen collection, and reproductive technologies
  • milking deer
  • fawning
  • velvet antler removal
  • end-of-life management
  • on-farm humane killing
  • contingency planning.

This is not an exhaustive list of all the proposed changes in the code. Full details are in the consultation documents.

Making your submission

 Send us your feedback by 5 pm on 10 November 2022. You can make a submission using our online survey, or by email, or by post.

Online submission form – SurveyMonkey

• Email

• Post to:

NAWAC Secretary
c/- Animal Welfare, Agriculture & Investment Services
Ministry for Primary Industries
Charles Ferguson Building
34-38 Bowen Street
PO Box 2526,
Wellington 6140

What to include in your submission

Make sure you tell us in your submission:

  • the title of the consultation document
  • your name and title
  • your organisation's name (if you are submitting on behalf of an organisation, and whether your submission represents the whole organisation or a section of it)
  • your contact details (such as phone number, address, and email).

Also indicate which group you best associate with:

  • primary sector organisation
  • farming
  • member of the public
  • animal advocacy organisation
  • transport or livestock company
  • animal health professional
  • research institute
  • other (specify).

Submissions are public information

Note that all, part, or a summary of your submission may be published on this website. Most often this happens when we issue a document that reviews the submissions received.

People can also ask for copies of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we must make the content of submissions available unless we have good reason for withholding it. Those reasons are detailed in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA.

If you think there are grounds to withhold specific information from publication, make this clear in your submission or contact us. Reasons may include that it discloses commercially sensitive or personal information. However, any decision MPI makes to withhold details can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may direct us to release it.

Official Information Act 1982 – NZ Legislation