Demand an independent agency for animals

Take action Demand an independent agency for animals
Justice for animals

Demand an independent agency for animals

Farmed animal cruelty is a widespread problem that the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is failing to deal with.

Even following exposés from SAFE and Farmwatch, MPI is often reluctant to investigate and enforce animal welfare legislation. This may be because animal welfare is a conflict of interest for MPI, who also represents the interests of animal agriculture. It’s like the fox looking after the hen house!

Footage released by SAFE and Farmwatch has repeatedly shown that, sadly, cruelty and neglect all too often goes hand-in-hand with farming animals.

  • Evidence gathered and passed onto MPI, even where it shows extreme illegal cruelty, often does not lead to action let alone a prosecution.
  • MPI can choose to just issue a farmer found breaking the law with a notice to correct their practices. We know that these notices often don’t get followed up and the animals continue to suffer.
  • Farms and slaughterhouses have been allowed to continue to operate even after convictions of cruelty to animals.

The only way to ensure that animal abuse doesn’t go undiscovered and unpunished is to have:

  • An increased number of animal welfare investigators (currently there is only approximately one inspector for every seven million animals.)
  • More frequent and unannounced farm inspections.
  • CCTV cameras in all dairy sheds and slaughterhouses.

Ask the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor to separate animal welfare from the Ministry for Primary Industries and allocate sufficient funding to a stand-alone regulatory and enforcement agency.

Help our cause: Supporting SAFE’s campaign against farmed animal cruelty will help with investigations and put pressure on the Government to create a Commission for Animal Welfare – Donate now.

The current system is broken

We need to strip MPI of its animal welfare responsibilities and create a stand-alone animal welfare regulatory and enforcement agency (a Commission).

Take Action

Write a polite email to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Conner about why YOU want an independent agency for Animal Welfare. 


Key points you can make:

  • The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is tasked with promoting animal agriculture, which is in many ways a direct conflict of interest to the important job of protecting animal welfare.
  • There are over 160 million farmed animals in New Zealand, and MPI has only 23 animal welfare inspectors. This is roughly one inspector for every seven million animals.
  • The various exposés that have come out in the media have shown MPI’s repeated failure to uncover animal abuse and even to enforce the law. Often farmers only receive a warning. The abuse may continue, and it is left up to volunteers and members of the public to try to expose it.
  • I care about protecting animal welfare and want to see it taken seriously.
  • Labour made many pre-election promises to improve animal welfare. No meaningful changes have been made and animals continue to suffer.
  • Please strip MPI of its animal welfare responsibility and instead create a fully resourced, independent agency with the power to regulate and enforce animal welfare, with a separate Minister in charge of this portfolio.
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