Minimum standards of animal welfare and recommended best practices for everyone involved in transporting animals in New Zealand have been outlined in a new code of welfare issued by Agriculture Minister David Carter.
The Animal Welfare (Transport within New Zealand) Code of Welfare 2011, developed by the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC), encourages all those responsible for animals during transport to adopt the highest standards of husbandry, care and handling.
NAWAC Deputy Chair Hilton Collier says transport can be a time of great stress for animals and it is important that it is done well.
“The purpose of this new code of welfare is to encourage everyone involved to minimise the stress placed on animals by adopting the highest standards before and during transport”.
“The code covers all animals and all forms of transport within New Zealand – air, land and sea. Minimum standards cover off important areas like stockmanship; planning; equipment design and maintenance; preparing and selecting animals for transport; loading and unloading; and the provision of food, water and rest”.
Collier adds that specific requirements for transport in emergencies and emergency humane destruction are also included.
The code was drafted and reviewed by representatives of companies and organisations involved in the commercial transport of animals by road and sea, farmers, veterinarians, animal advocacy groups and environmental agencies.