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Livestock welfare agreement

Animal welfare organisation SPCA and the Ministry for Primary Industries [MPI] have settled on who takes the reins in enforcing animal welfare standards when it comes to livestock.

A refreshed arrangement was scheduled at the start of this year to direct all livestock complaints towards MPI, with the rollout being phased across New Zealand.

But a final service model, effective from August 1, directs shared responsibility between the ministry and the charity.

SPCA will retain privately owned horses in their Inspectorate remit, and will respond to complaints of livestock animals with 10 or less animals of a particular species.

It will also be responsible for horses used commercially if numbers are under 10 – for example, a trekking company – and non-commercial poultry with numbers under 30.

MPI will handle welfare concerns regarding livestock when numbers exceed 10, as well as commercial farms and animals used in race-day events.

A spokesperson for SPCA said this arrangement strikes the right balance with the charity assuming responsibility over welfare issues concerning companion animals and small-scale livestock.

“We are able to bring our expertise in identifying and addressing welfare issues concerning companion animals, horses, and livestock in a limited setting,” the spokesperson said.

“Ensuring that these animals receive appropriate care and protection.”

SPCA Inspectorate Team Leader Ben Lakomy said there were some facilities at the Masterton Centre suitable to accommodate larger animals, namely paddocks and grazing.

“We also have a large network of fosterers and partners who we utilise when needed to manage large animals and their care.”

Lakomy said unfortunately, SPCA does receive regular calls in Wairarapa about livestock on lifestyle properties.

“We receive complaints about under-weight and under-fed stock, and stock with insufficient water or shelter,” Lakomy said.

“We also receive calls about un-shorn sheep.”

    Further information on how responsibilities are shared between MPI and SPCA is available on the SPCA website.

Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age, originally hailing from Wellington. She is interested in social issues and writes about the local arts and culture scene.

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