Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


New rules for surgical procedures on animals from May 2020

Monday 16 December 2019

Check the new rules on who can do what and how it must be done

New rules on who can carry out some surgical procedures on animals and how they must be done are expected to be in place from May 2020.

The Ministry for Primary Industries says the new regulations under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 will make it clear who can do what surgical procedure and how it must be done.

They cover a wide variety of surgical procedures carried out on a wide range of animals by veterinarians and others – from specialist procedures to routine ones such as disbudding, dehorning and lamb tail docking.

Ministry for Primary Industries Director of Animal Health and Welfare, Dr Chris Rodwell, a veterinarian, says the new rules will mostly allow competent people to continue doing routine procedures on animals. Some new rules will raise the standard.

“Procedures on animals must be carried out by the right people with the right skills and care, to ensure the wellbeing of animals,” says Dr Rodwell.

“People who own animals or are in charge of them – including people who work with animals – should check now to see if they need to change what they do or the way they do it.”

There are new offences and penalties for some breaches of the new rules – including some that may result in a criminal conviction, and a fine of up to $5,000 for an individual or $25,000 for a body corporate. These penalties target minor to moderate offending. More serious offending can be dealt with under the existing offences in the Animal Welfare Act 1999.

The new rules require that where a person who is not a veterinarian is allowed to carry out a surgical procedure on an animal, they must be ‘competent’.

“To be ‘competent’, a person should be experienced with, or have received training in the correct use of the method for the procedure, and have the appropriate skill and equipment to carry it out.

“The person carrying out a procedure must make sure they are competent to do so. The owner or the person in charge of the animal also has a responsibility to make sure that the person carrying out the procedure is competent,” says Dr Rodwell.

For some surgical procedures, the new rules require the use of pain relief. It is up to a veterinarian to authorise what type and to decide whether to allow a competent person who is not a veterinarian to administer it, or to administer it themselves. Examples of the required pain relief are general and local anaesthetics and analgesic drugs.

The new rules have been developed after wide public consultation. The Government has approved regulatory policies, most of which are expected to come into force in May 2020, with some expected to come into force in May 2021. Go to www.mpi.govt.nz/ssp to check the new rules.

Media contact: MPI media team media@mpi.govt.nz or 029 894 0328

Who can do what under the new rules?

The new regulations on surgical procedures under the Animal Welfare Act 1999:
• continue to allow competent people who are not veterinarians to carry out some procedures – an example is treating sheep vaginal prolapses
• make it clear that some procedures must only be carried out by a veterinarian – an example is castrating donkeys
• make it clear that some procedures are banned, meaning no-one, not even a veterinarian, can carry them out – an example is cropping dogs’ ears to make them stand up
• make it clear that competent people can continue to carry out some procedures if the animal is given pain relief, with a veterinarian authorising what type and deciding whether to allow a competent person who is not a veterinarian to administer it, or to administer it themselves – examples are extracting wolf teeth from horses or other equids and disbudding goats.

What animals and procedures are covered?

The new rules cover a wide range of animals and a wide variety of surgical procedures. Some rules cover all animals on which a specific procedure is carried out. Other rules cover a specific procedure on a specific type of animal, for instance:
• farm animals – dairy and beef cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, deer, llamas and alpacas
• equids – horses, ponies, donkeys, mules, other wild asses, zebras and any of their hybrids
• poultry and game fowl
• animals involved in research, testing and teaching
• wild animals under a person’s control
• animals involved in routine conservation and fisheries activities
• a number of other animals like dogs, rabbits and rodents.

Most of the rules cover surgical procedures but some cover other things – such as the use of electric prodders.

What are the new offences and penalties?

The new offences may result in penalties, targeting minor to moderate offending, which fall into two categories:
• a prosecutable regulatory offence may result in a fine and may also result in a criminal conviction – the fine is a maximum of between $3,000 and $5,000 for an individual or a maximum of between $15,000 and $25,000 for a body corporate
• an infringement offence will result in a fee but does not result in a criminal conviction – the flat fee for some offences is $500 but this may rise if there is more than one animal involved.

More serious offending falls under the offences in the Animal Welfare Act 1999.

Why make new rules?

The Animal Welfare Act 1999 says that ‘significant surgical procedures’ may be carried out only by a veterinarian or their supervised student – unless regulations say otherwise. From 09 May 2020, new criteria will be coming into force in the Act to make it easier to decide what a ‘significant surgical procedure’ is. These criteria would potentially mean only veterinarians could carry out some procedures – for example, docking the tails of lambs – unless there are new regulations to make it clear who can do what and how it should be done.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Wage Cuts, And The Listener’s Demise

Various levels of across the board wage cuts – 10%? 15% ?- are being mooted for workers in some of our larger firms, in order to help the likes of Fletchers, Mediaworks etc survive the Covid-19 crisis. It is extraordinary that unions should be having to explain to employers (and to the public) just how unfairly the burden of such a response would fall. Basically, if you’re on a salary in six figures, a 10-15% haircut can still be worn fairly lightly. If you’re employed at or below the median wage, losing 10% of your income can be a hammer blow... More>>


Government: Seeking Infrastructure Projects

The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say...More>>


Police Commissioner: Christchurch Terrorist Pleads Guilty

Police acknowledge the guilty pleas in the Christchurch Mosque attacks prosecution that were entered in the Christchurch High Court today. The guilty pleas to 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and one charge of engaging in a terrorist ... More>>


Transport: $54 billion Investment In Draft GPS 2021

The Draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) 2021 on land transport confirms that the Government will invest a record $54 billion in its balanced transport policy over the next decade. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Loss Of Abortion Safe Zones

No doubt, last night’s defeat of abortion law reform provisions that would have created safe zones around abortion clinics will be portrayed, by some, as a victory for free speech. It isn’t. It was a victory for bigotry and intimidation directed ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On National's Regulation Crusade

Lets step back in time now, to simpler days and to simple-minded solutions. So…. if National gets elected, landlords will once again be able to evict tenants at will, raise rents anytime they like, and ignore the need to install a healthy standard of heating in the homes they put out to rent. This promised ‘bonfire of regulations’ is being done in the name of cutting red tape... More>>


SMC - Expert Reaction: PF2050 Strategy

DOC has released a strategy to reach Predator Free 2050, along with an action plan through to 2025. The predator-free goal focuses on three groups of mammals: possums, three species of rats, plus stoats, ferrets and weasels... More>>






InfoPages News Channels