NZ parties on animal welfare | World Animal Protection New Zealand

Animal welfare groups urge new Government to establish an independent voice for animals


Thanks to your support, we’ve joined hands with New Zealand’s leading animal advocacy groups to demand an independent Commissioner for Animals to ensure the voices of animals are heard at the highest level.

Together, we’re calling on incoming Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and his coalition partners to appoint a Commissioner to represent the voices of animals and uphold their legal rights under the Animal Welfare Act 1999.

More than 50 animal organisations emphasised the need for a Commissioner for Animals in a 2018 hui, showcasing the widespread support for its establishment. This urgent call is also backed by several animal law experts.

Debra Ashton, Spokesperson for the Alliance, said:

Currently, animal welfare regulations are heavily influenced by the industries profiting from the animals, rather than the welfare needs and legal rights of animals.

A voice for animals at the political table has never been more urgent, with many animal rescue, shelter and rehabilitation organisations struggling under high rates of abandonment, rising operational costs and little to no Government support.

Our leaders trade on the ‘world-leading’ Animal Welfare Act, to sell New Zealand products at a premium. However, without proper oversight, the Act isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.

New Zealanders – and those across the world who look to us as leaders in this space – would be appalled to learn that across the country, animals are currently subjected to systematic abuse on farms, in cages, on racetracks, and in labs, blatantly breaching their legal rights under the Animal Welfare Act.

We can't trade on a world-leading Animal Welfare Act when it is not enforced in practice.

The Alliance members include SAFE, World Animal Protection, the New Zealand Animal Law Association, NZAVS, HUHA, Greenpeace Aotearoa, Animals Aotearoa, BirdCare Aotearoa, Animal Evac NZ, Goat Welfare NZ, the Community Cat Coalition, Chained Dog Awareness, Wellington Rabbit Rescue and the Australian Alliance for Animals.

With 89% of New Zealand voters considering animal welfare a significant issue according to a recent poll, it’s high time the Government gave animals fair representation in Parliament.

Together, we can give animals a voice and transform the animal welfare system in Aotearoa. Forever.

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