Animal welfare concerns
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.