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Proposed regulations on prolonged tethering of dogs and subgingival dental procedures in dogs and cats

Have your say

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is consulting on:

  • 6 proposed regulations on prolonged tethering in dogs
  • a proposed regulation on subgingival dental procedures in dogs and cats.

We are looking for your feedback on the proposed regulations, their likely impacts, and any other issues that may inform the creation of these regulations.

On the prolonged tethering of dogs, tell us which of these regulations, or combinations of them, you prefer to address this issue. Note that this does not include the caging (to be examined in 2023) or temporary tethering of dogs.

On the proposed regulation on subgingival dental procedures in dogs and cats, this would allow non-veterinarians (such as veterinary nurses) with experience or training to perform these procedures. Prior to changes to the Animal Welfare Act 1999 in May 2021, veterinary nurses could perform this procedure.

Full details are in the consultation document and we've also prepared answers to frequently asked questions

Consultation document

Proposed regulations on prolonged tethering of dogs and subgingival dental procedures in dogs and cats [PDF, 1.2 MB]

Related information

Code of Welfare: Dogs [PDF, 588 KB]

Animal Welfare (Care and Procedures) Regulations 2018

Animal Welfare Act 1999

Prolonged tethering proposals

The prolonged tethering of dogs is a daily issue encountered by animal welfare inspectors, which causes significant welfare compromise and distress for dogs.

Dogs kept under these conditions can also be associated with nuisance behaviours such as excessive barking, and increased risk of aggression.

Current provisions under the Animal Welfare Act 1999, the Animal Welfare (Care and Procedures) Regulations 2018, and the Code of Welfare for Dogs do not directly address this issue.

MPI is proposing regulations for dog owners who tether their dogs. The proposed regulations are:

  1. Prohibiting prolonged tethering that is likely to cause distress to a dog.
  2. Requiring that tethered dogs get one hour off tether each day.
  3. Prohibiting tethering to a fixed stationary point.
  4. Prohibiting the tethering of certain types of dogs.
  5. Prohibiting the tethering of dogs displaying certain physical signs of distress.
  6. Requirements on how tethering can happen.

Proposal on subgingival dental procedures for dogs and cats

Since May 2021, only veterinarians are able to carry out subgingival dental procedures.

After receiving feedback from the veterinary sector, MPI has noted that veterinary nurses were previously able to carry out these procedures. Allowing veterinary nurses to carry out these procedures would help to relieve pressure on veterinarians, enabling them to respond to more serious companion animal issues in a timely manner.

The purpose of the proposed regulation is to allow non-veterinarians who have received training or experience in the procedure, such as a veterinary nurse, to carry out subgingival dental procedures.

Making your submission

Email your feedback on the proposals by 5pm on 15 March, 2023 to

We encourage you to use our  submission template [DOCX, 100 KB]

While we prefer email, you can post written submissions to:

Prolonged tethering and subgingival regulations
Animal Welfare Policy Team
Ministry for Primary Industries
PX Box 2526
Wellington 6140
New Zealand.

Frequently asked questions

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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