The Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry is working on a new national strategy for animal welfare and a review of animal welfare legislation.
Primary Industries Minister David Carter says the Animal Welfare Act is 12 years old and is due for an overhaul.
MAF says it's working closely with vets, animal industries and animal advocacy groups to develop the strategy by 2013.
The Royal New Zealand SPCA says it will also been seeking some changes in the way the animal welfare laws are applied.
Chief executive Robyn Kippenberger says one of those relates to the financial burden placed on prosecuting agencies such as MAF and the SPCAs.
Ms Kippenberger says this would be eased if SPCAs were able to find homes for the animals or ask the owners to pay board for them.
She says the RSPCA also wants animal welfare codes made more enforceable under law.