An­i­mal wel­fare con­cerns

Central Leader - - NEWS - By EMMA WHIT­TAKER

A cam­paign to strengthen an­i­mal wel­fare laws is to be launched this week­end.

Green MP Mojo Mathers will raise the cur­tain on her Ac­tion For An­i­mals cam­paign at the Mt Eden Vil­lage Cen­tre on Sun­day.

A bill propos­ing changes to the An­i­mal Wel­fare Act 1999 was in­tro­duced to par­lia­ment in May fol­low­ing a govern­ment re­view of the law.

Pub­lic sub­mis­sions on the pro­posed amend­ments are ex­pected to open soon.

Pos­si­ble changes in­clude new rules for live an­i­mal ex­ports and tougher fines for rule break­ers, along with re­plac­ing codes of wel­fare with manda­tory guide­lines that could in­cur fines if they aren’t fol­lowed.

‘‘My cam­paign is to give New Zealan­ders the chance to take ad­van­tage of this rare op­por­tu­nity to get it right for an­i­mals in farm­ing, rac­ing and re­search and pro­vide them with a de­cent life,’’ Ms Mathers says.

The cam­paign is seek­ing pro­vi­sions in the law that would end un­nec­es­sary test­ing of recre­ational drugs and cos­met­ics on an­i­mals, the de­vel­op­ment of la­belling stan­dards on an­i­mal prod­ucts so that peo­ple know what they are buy­ing at the su­per­mar­ket, and end­ing the use of cruel cages in agri­cul­ture.

‘‘This year New Zealan­ders have stood up for an­i­mals on a num­ber of piv­otal oc­ca­sions. The big­gest an­i­mal wel­fare con­cern of the year has been an­i­mal test­ing in the Psy­choac­tive Sub­stances Bill.’’

Al­most 70,000 peo­ple signed a pe­ti­tion call­ing for an­i­mal test­ing of party pills to be ruled out and more than 7500 peo­ple emailed po­lit­i­cal lead­ers in sup­port of Ms Mather’s amend­ment to the bill ban­ning it.

‘‘It is clear that New Zealan­ders re­ally do care about an­i­mals and we aren’t afraid to speak up for them.’’

Fol­low­ing the launch Ms Mathers will talk to groups around the coun­try about the cam­paign and the sub­mis­sion process for the law changes.

A Face­book page will be set up so peo­ple can keep up to date with the cam­paign.

Tak­ing ac­tion: Green MP Mojo Mathers’ Ac­tion For An­i­mals cam­paign is call­ing for law changes that would put a stop to things like the test­ing of cos­met­ics and recre­ational drugs on an­i­mals.

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