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New Zealand First's response to questions about animal welfare and the Animal Agenda Aotearoa:

New Zealand First’s animal welfare spokesperson Richard Prosser replied by letter. He said that New Zealand First’s policy in animal welfare issues was shaped by a small number of simple tenets. First, the party believed that farm animals, wild animals, animals used for research and pets should all be treated in a humane and respectful way. Mr Prosser said that the way in which animals were treated was very important. This country’s treatment of agricultural animals reflected very tangibly on New Zealand’s international reputation.
All animals subject to human control should receive humane treatment. When animals were killed, appropriate methods should be used to ensure that death was swift and painless.
In relation to the Animal Agenda items, New Zealand First said that some of the items fell within the ambit of the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill. In relation to those issues, the party’s policy had generally been guided by the position adopted by NAWAC but some policies might alter.


  1. Animal Testing
    The party opposes the use of higher animals and companion animals in medical and industrial testing generally and all animal testing other than the use of rodent models for determining toxicity with regard to psychoactive substances.
  2. Tougher Sentences for animal cruelty
    Supports.
  3. The Link
    New Zealand First has no specific policy at this time beyond a general agreement with the desire to end all three forms of violence.
  4. Provide adequate shelter and high standards for transporting animals
    No specific response.
  5. Commissioner for Animals
    Does not support but supports proper resourcing of the Ministry for Primary Industries.
  6. Prohibiting forms of surgical mutilation which adversely affect animals
    No specific response.
  7. Banning factory farming by 2017
    No specific response.
  8. Prohibiting painful devices such as shock collars and leg hold traps
    No specific response.
  9. Banning the use of animals in entertainment
    No specific response.
  10. Inserting a Declaration of Sentience into law
    New Zealand First believes that some species display an exponentially greater predominance of sentience indicator behaviours than other animals. Care must be taken not to anthropomorphise animals.