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Govt Fails to Make High Animal Welfare Ambitions a Reality

26 June 2014

Government Fails to Make High Animal Welfare Ambitions a Reality

New report highlights hits and misses

The review of New Zealand’s most important piece of legislation surrounding the treatment of animals promised big changes. Unfortunately, the reality has fallen short say animal group SAFE. The statement follows the reporting back of the Primary Production Select Committee today on the review of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

SAFE says cruel factory farms are still going to be legal and animal welfare will continue to be under the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), which suffers a conflict of interest with its primary goal: to increase the profits of industry. The government also missed several key opportunities, such as banning exotic animals in circuses, live export and cetaceans in captivity.

Cosmetics testing on animals was not banned, and alternatives to animal testing do not have to be used even when they are available. “How can the government expect this bill to be taken seriously, if it still allows the torture of rabbits for the sake of shampoo?” says SAFE campaign officer Shanti Ahluwalia.

“We’re pleased to see they have removed loopholes protecting the most extreme abuse like battery cages,” says Mr Ahluwalia. “There are also some improvements in enforcement, although without any extra funding allocated, this is another example of aspiration over substance.”

SAFE urges the Government to listen to the thousands of people who sent submissions and e-cards for better animal welfare standards and ensure that any changes to the final Animal Welfare Act will bring meaningful improvements to the lives of animals in New Zealand.

Find out more about SAFE’s key recommendations at www.animalwelfare.org.nz

ENDS

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