This is information provided by MPI about the actions it has taken since the Animal Welfare Amendment Act was passed. The information was provided under the Official Information Act to someone who requested it. We thought this information might be of interest to others.
7 APR 2016
OFFICIAL INFORMATION ACT REQUEST
Ministry for Primary Industries
Manato Ahu Matua
I refer to your official information request transferred to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) on 8 March 2016 relating to changes following the Animal Welfare Amendment Act (No.2) 2015 . Your questions are quoted and answered below.
The following information is released to you under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA):
In the 2015/16 Budget, Government provided $10 million over four years to support the implementation of the Animal Welfare Amendment Act.
Changes that came into force immediately after the commencement of the Amendment Act include:
In the first nine months of the Act being in force MPI has recruited an additional six specialist Animal Welfare Inspectors, produced Animal Welfare Inspector training programmes for powers that came into effect immediately, commenced development of a package of animal welfare regulations, and worked with central and local agencies to prepare for the management of animals in a civil defence emergency .
G-rowing and Protecting New Zealand
Policy and Trade Biosecurity and Animal Welfare Policy Pastoral House, 25 The Terrace
PO Box 2526, Wellington 6140 , New Zealand Telephone: 0800 00 83 33, Facsimile:+64-4-894 0300
Following the amendments to the Animal Welfare Act 1999 (the Act), regulatory proposals are currently under development relating to live animal exports, care of and conduct towards animals, and surgical and painful procedures. These will enhance the transparency, enforceability, and clarity of the Act.
MPI anticipates commencing a public consultation process for the regulatory proposals in April 2016. We have added your details to the contact list for alerts on public consultation updates for animal welfare issues to keep you notified of upcoming consultation dates.
3a. How have compliance and enforcement capability been improved to date? Has the range of enforcement tools been broadened? How is the penalty scheme targeted at low-to-medium offending working so far?
The enforcement capability with regard to animal welfare has increased. MPI now has 17 specialist Animal Welfare Inspectors on the ground who are experienced and highly trained, compared to 11 previously. An additional 25 existing MPI compliance officers have been trained in animal welfare compliance and cross-warranted to perform animal welfare duties.
New infringement offences, targeted at addressing low to medium level offending, are being considered as part of the regulatory proposals referred to above.
3b. How many of the new compliance notices have been issued by animal welfare inspectors, in what situations and with what outcomes?
Compliance notices are intended to work in tandem with animal welfare regulations which have yet to come into force. Once the regulations are in place Animal Welfare Inspectors will be able to exercise their new powers to issue compliance and infringement notices to ensure compliance with the Act or any regulations made under it. MPI will provide Animal Welfare Inspectors with focused education and training to ensure that they are well prepared to appropriately perform their new duties.
3c. Have any animals 'at clear risk of imminent harm' been uplifted by animal welfare inspectors and if so, in what circumstances?
MPI enforces the Animal Welfare Act in partnership with the RNZSPCA. MPI Animal Welfare Inspectors have not been required to uplift any animals 'at clear risk of imminent harm'. This response does not include the activities of the RNZSPCA.
MPI has not dealt with any acts of wilful or reckless ill treatment of wild animals under the new provision (section 30A of the Act). This does not include the activities of the RNZSPCA.
Since the Amendment Act, several changes have been made to Part 6 of the Animal Welfare Act which covers use of animals in research, testing, and teaching. Some of these changes are currently in effect, while others will come into effect over the next two years in order to allow Animal Ethics Committees (AECs) to update their processes, and to synchronise with annual data collection cycles.
There was an immediate ban on the use of animals to test finished cosmetic products or ingredients intended exclusively for use in cosmetics.
Since November 2015, AECs have been required to consider whether a project proposal has adequately assessed the suitability of using non-sentient or non-living alternatives.
From January 2018, the meaning of 'manipulation' under the Act will be expanded to include animals killed for the purpose of undertaking research on their body parts or tissue and the act of breeding an animal for the purpose of using the offspring for research. After these new meanings come into effect, any person intending to carry out these new manipulations must apply to their AEC for project approval.
The Animal Welfare (Records and Statistics) Regulations 1999 will be reviewed in light of the above amendments. This review will take place at the end of 2016, once work on the regulations relating to live animal exports, care of and conduct towards animals, and surgical and painful procedures has been completed.
So far in the 2015/16 financial year, MPI has:
Over the remaining years funds will be allocated to:
7. What initiatives are underway to improve management of the welfare of animals in a
civil defence emergency?
The revised National Civil Defence Emergency Plan 2015 clarified roles and responsibilities of the Plan's lead and support agencies . MPI now has explicit responsibility for co-ordinating and preparing for the animal welfare aspects of all emergencies, such as animal rescue, animal shelter , food, water , husbandry, and veterinary care for all animals.
MPI works closely with, and is supported in, delivering these services through groups such as the Rural Support Trust, Local Authorities , Federated Farmers, New Zealand Veterinary Association , RNZSPCA, and the New Zealand Companion Animal Council.
MPI is collaborating with the Ministry of Civil Defense and Emergency Management (MCDEM) to finalize an ' MP/ Animal Welfare Emergency Managemenf technical reference document. This will be published on MPl's website.
I trust this information satisfies your request.