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As an animal owner, you have certain legal responsibilities towards your animals, and these obligations are set out in the Animal Welfare Act 1999. In summary, the Act requires you to provide all your animals’ needs, whether physical, health or behavioural. It is an offence not to meet these needs “according to good practice and scientific knowledge”. You must not ill-treat any animal so that it experiences unnecessary or unreasonable pain or suffering.
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. Farmers and other livestock owners often want to kill and eat their own livestock. As this homekilled meat is not subject to any standards, no guarantee can be given as to its fitness for human consumption. Therefore, homekill regulations are designed to prevent potentially unwholesome meat from being marketed.
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 aim of the programme, as spelled out in an article by Iris Riddell for Lifestyle Block back in 2011, is to identify and trace individual animals via a unique identification number that can be electronically scanned in sale yards and abattoirs.
There is a real risk that infected meat will be smuggled into this country and some of it fed to pigs, very possibly on a lifestyle farm. So if you have a pig on your farm, please read the following – it’s very important.
If you have deer or cattle on your lifestyle block you need to make sure you meet Animal Health Board (AHB) regulations - even if you only have one or two animals. Bovine Tb is an infectious disease that infects mainly the throats and lungs of animals. It can be fatal and also poses a serious risk to New Zealand's meat and dairy trade. This article contains information on the Tb Programme and your responsibilities under it.