31 Mar 2018

Animal welfare regulations need more enforcement - SAFE

10:19 am on 31 March 2018

New rules to strengthen the animal welfare system are not enough, an animal rights group says.

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SAFE says more needs to be done to make sure regulations are enforced. Photo: 123 RF

That comes after Associate Minister for Agriculture, Meka Whaitiri, announced new regulations, which include fining pet owners $300 for leaving dogs in hot cars.

Ms Whaitiri said the government had introduced penalties for lower level offences which might not warrant prosecution under the Animal Welfare Act.

The new rules would also allow people to be fined when farm animals were injured while being transported to slaughter plants.

Ms Whaitiri has said the regulations would have a significant effect on the treatment of animals.

They were developed over three years working with industry and advocacy groups.

However, SAFE campaign director Mandy Carter said there were not enough Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) inspectors to make sure the regulations were enforced.

"If there is a dog caught in a hot car, are they expecting members of the public to call MPI to come and rescue? Or call the SPCA to come and rescue the dog, and then get an infringement notice?

"Because the problem is, that dog likely would've died by the time they turn up."

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