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Proposed transition period for introducing minimum standards for off-paddock dairy cattle facilities

What's being proposed?

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is seeking your views on when 2 minimum standards should come into effect for dairy cattle managed long-term in off-paddock facilities.

The proposed new minimum standards require dairy cattle managed in off-paddock facilities (for more than 150 days in a 365-day period) to be provided with frequent access to a suitable outdoor area. The requirements seek to mitigate issues with long-term confinement in off-paddock facilities, such as barns.

In 2019, the Minister of Agriculture agreed that the 2 minimum standards should come into effect with a lead-in time to allow those affected time to prepare to implement the changes. To bring the 2 minimum standards into effect they will be inserted into the Code of Welfare: Dairy Cattle by regulation.  

MPI is seeking your views on how long the transition period (lead-in time) for the new minimum standards should be. MPI has proposed 4 options for the possible length of a transition period. They are: 

  • Option 1: immediate effect (status quo)
  • Option 2: 1 year (as recommended by NAWAC – the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee)
  • Option 3: 5 years
  • Option 4: 10 years.

Have your say

We are seeking your input on the likely economic and financial impacts and any other issues that may inform when the 2 minimum standards come into effect. We are also interested to hear about other factors that could impact you, your business, or the minimum standards to inform our thinking on which transition period should be implemented.

You can provide us with feedback from 31 January until 5pm on 4 March 2022.

Questions for your consideration are throughout the consultation document and are also listed in Appendix 3. These questions are to help you prepare your submission.

Consultation document

Proposed transition period for minimum standards addressing the long-term farming of dairy cattle off-paddock [PDF, 417 KB]

Related document

Code of Welfare: Dairy Cattle [PDF, 672 KB]

Making your submission 

Making a submission is important. It provides us with evidence to help us ensure that the transition period for the minimum standards reflect the likely impacts and allow sufficient time for affected farms to modify existing systems. It is your opportunity to ensure that your views are heard. 

Email your feedback on the draft before 5pm on 4 March 2022 to

Make sure you include in your submission:

  • the title of this consultation in the subject line of your email
  • your name and title
  • your organisation's name (if you're submitting on behalf of an organisation)
  • your contact details (for example, phone number, address, and email).

While we prefer email, you can send your submission by post to:

Animal Welfare Policy
Ministry for Primary Industries
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140
New Zealand.

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