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!


what to do if you hit an animal on the roadDo you know what your obligations are if you hit an animal on the road?  Most people drive on regardless, especially if it's a bird, rabbit, possum or hedgehog that's been hit.  But what if it's a dog or a cat, or a sheep or horse?  Some of us have had that experience and it's sickening, but if you know what to do for the best, it can help you deal with the situation.

nait ear tagWhen July 2012 rolls around, it heralds the arrival of something all lifestyle farmers should be aware of - National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT).

animal welfare regulationsAs 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.

sale yardsPublic Sale yards must not become a dumping ground for unhealthy livestock writes David Barbour, Animal Welfare Investigator with the Enforcement Group of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Farmers and persons in charge of animals have a legal obligation under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 to ensure only fit an healthy animals are transported from their properties to sale yards or any where else for that matter.

homekill regulationsMeat 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.

Ear tagsIn 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.

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

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.

bovine tbIf 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.

fencing act legislation boundary fence 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. This article picks out the key points you need to know, including the definition of a boundary fence.
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