12 Jul 2012

Animal welfare code effectiveness studied

2:24 pm on 12 July 2012

The National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee is working with the Government to find out how effective its animal welfare guidelines are in practice.

NAWAC has now developed 16 codes which set minimum standards for stock handling and are enforceable under the Animal Welfare Act.

Chairman Dr John Hellstrom says the committee is working closely with the Ministry for Primary Industries as it reviews aspects of the 13-year-old Animal Welfare Act.

He says the committee is also revising many of the codes that have now been in place for a decade.

Dr Hellstrom says the time is right to take stock of whether the codes are helping to reduce animal abuse.

"The transport code is one that has been particularly effective in that it was very quickly taken up by industry," he says. "Some of the other codes, it's much harder to say."

Earlier this month NAWAC sent a revised code for layer hens to the Government for approval, recommending battery cages be banned.

A code for goats has just been released to industry and this year the committee is working on a camelid code, for llamas and alpacas, and is revising the rodeo and dairy codes.