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Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, provided National's response in the form of a letter. Mr Guy said that the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill was the first significant reform of animal welfare laws since 1999 and would make the law clearer, more transparent and easier to enforce. In relation to the ten Agenda items, Mr Guy responded as follows:


  1. Animal Testing
    Mr Guy said that the use of live animals in research, testing and teaching was tightly controlled in New Zealand. Animal ethics committees must consider whether the benefits derived from the use of animals outweighed the likely harm to the animals. Cosmetic testing was not currently undertaken in New Zealand and, due to the very high harm-benefit test, was unlikely to be undertaken in the future.
  2. Tougher Sentences for animal cruelty
    No response was provided in relation to this item.
  3. The Link
    No response was provided in relation to this item.
  4. Provide adequate shelter and high standards for transporting animals
    Mr Guy said that the Animal Welfare Act required owners and people in charge of animals to provide appropriate shelter. The Ministry for Primary Industries and other organisations had funded research into the shade and shelter required and how best to provide it and those results were incorporated into Codes of Welfare. The minister said that the Animal Welfare (Transport within New Zealand) Code of Welfare set minimum standards and best practice for transporting animals.
  5. Commissioner for Animals
    Does not support.
  6. Prohibiting forms of surgical mutilation which adversely affect animals
    The minister said that the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill would enable regulations to be developed in relation to surgical and painful procedures such as tail docking.
  7. Banning factory farming by 2017
    Mr Guy said that the Government was proceeding with its decision to ban the use of battery cages and sow stalls. Sow stalls would no longer be used from the end of 2015 and battery cages would be banned from 2022.
  8. Prohibiting painful devices such as shock collars and leg hold traps
    The minister said that all such devices must be sold and used in accordance with the act and any relevant regulations.
  9. Banning the use of animals in entertainment
    Mr Guy said that the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee was currently considering issues generally associated with animals used for entertainment purposes.
  10. Inserting a Declaration of Sentience into law
    The minister said that he had last year launched the New Zealand Animal Welfare Strategy, which recognised that animals were sentient. He said that the Animal Welfare Act implicitly recognised the sentience of animals by placing a duty of care on owners and people in charge of animals to meet their physical, health and behavioural needs.