Tough new proposed amendments to New Zealand’s animal welfare regulations have been released for public consultation.

The aim is to help authorities crack down on lower-level offending.

These proposals set out clear penalties and fines, for example striking a horse around the head with a lead, whip or any other object would result in a fine of $300 (£146).

“Most animal welfare offending is at a low to medium level of severity,” states the consultation document.

“The proposed regulations seek to set specific penalties — including fines — for low to medium level animal welfare offences so that this type of offending can be dealt with more effectively.

“The new rules mean we can effectively deal with all levels of offending, not just the most severe.”

Injuries from equipment — such cuts or abraisions from tack and halters — and tethering without constant access to food, water and shelter, would also be directly punishable with a $300 fine, but no criminal conviction.

Hot branding would be completely banned, if the proposals are given the go-ahead.

There are also suggestions to tighten up the law on areas such as who can carry out certain veterinary procedures, for example castrations.

New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is running the consultation until 19 May.


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H&H reported last week that UK’s Animal Welfare Act 2006 is also undergoing a review.

Evidence was heard by the government’s environment, food and rural affair’s sub-committee in Westminster on 12 April and 19 April.

This first review looks at whether the Act is fit for purpose and its enforcement, in relation to domestic pets including cats, dogs and horses.

A total of 240 submissions were made by organisations such as the RSPCA, World Horse Welfare, the British Veterinary Association and the British Horseracing Authority.