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legal responsibilities

Running the Farm : Legal responsibilities

This section contains articles on your legal responsibilities. There are hundreds of other useful articles in our lifestyle file. If you're looking for something in particular then use the search box above. If not, then browse the article titles and see what there is to help you. If you can't find an answer here then why not ask in our discussion forums? One of the very friendly and helpful members is sure to be able to help you.

New articles are added all the time so don't forget to check back here regularly!


As of the 9th May 2021 there is a change to animal welfare regulations. The changes cover a wide range of surgical procedures, including ones often carried out by the farmer such as tail docking and dealing with bearings.

As an animal owner, you have certain legal responsibilities towards your animals, and these obligations are set out in the Animal Welfare Act 1999.

Meat sold in NZ and exported from NZ is subject to a number of standards under the Animal Products Act, which ensures that the meat is fit for human consumption.

Feeding food waste that might contain meat to your pigs?  You must boil it for an hour first.

If you have deer or cattle on your lifestyle block you need to make sure you meet TBfree requirements - even if you only have one or two animals.

In July 2012, the first stage of the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) scheme was introduced for all farmers in New Zealand – even lifestyle block owners.

The original Fencing Act of 1908 has had many amendments over the years.  There was a major main amendment in 1979, and then the Fencing of Swimming Pool Act 1987.

What should you do if you hit an animal with your vehicle?

Animal Welfare Regulations highlight certain management standards that are expected of animal owners and make them more readily and quickly enforceable.

Animal Welfare Act Regulations make it easier for offenders of lower grade infringement offences to be fined without the need for prosecutions.

This article describes several tiers of more serious offences that could result in a criminal conviction and fines of $3000 to $5000 for an individual and up to $25,000 for a body corporate.

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