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Animal abuse simply unacceptable

Hon Jim Anderton

Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity
Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Forestry
Associate Minister of Health
Associate Minister for Tertiary Education

Progressive Leader

30 October 2007

Animal abuse simply unacceptable

The Government shares the SPCA’s concerns about animal abuse and is working to tackle the problem, Agriculture Minister Jim Anderton said today.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals yesterday published a List of Shame, detailing some of the examples of the worst abuse that occurred during the first nine months of this year, and some representative samples of the incidents investigated by the society.

Jim Anderton, who is responsible for animal welfare as part of his agriculture portfolio, said the cases listed by the SPCA were deeply disturbing.

“It’s clear that we have some way to go before our society can be proud of how we treat our animals. As a biologically-based economy, animals are vitally important to our economic wellbeing and we are also a nation of pet lovers. New Zealand must do better.”

The Agriculture and Forestry Ministry and the SPCA are jointly responsible for enforcing animal welfare rules, and Jim Anderton said more funding would be needed to ensure that both agencies were able to deal with abuse cases promptly. “I have been talking to both MAF and the SPCA about what resource is required to get on top of this problem and I am making animal welfare a priority for next year’s budget round.”

Jim Anderton said the Government was also looking to address loopholes in current animal welfare regulations, for example, creating regulations to prevent people from using explosive devices to kill birds such as the “bird bomb” used recently in the Wairarapa.

ENDS

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