A new law aimed at combating unsafe conditions for pregnant pigs is a milestone for animal safety, an animal welfare organisation says.
New rules for sow housing came into effect this week making it illegal for female pigs to be confined in stalls during pregnancy.
The changes are part of the Code of Welfare for pigs under the Animal Welfare Act.
Ministry of Primary Industries Director of Compliance Dean Baigent said while the stalls were developed to manage sows' aggressive behaviour, it was now realised they were very restrictive.
"They restrict other natural behaviours such as freedom of movement."
A spokesperson for animal welfare organisation SAFE, Hans Kriek, said the group fought hard for the change in legislation.
"We are delighted that sow stalls are finally gone, it was probably the biggest victory for the animal rights movement in New Zealand, but it's just a small step as we see it.
"There's still a lot of cruelty in the intensive pig industry in New Zealand."