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World Animal Protection joins SAFE's call for a Commissioner for Animals in Aotearoa

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

SAFE’s petition calling for a Commissioner for Animals in Aotearoa has attained thousands of signatures since its launch on 3 May 2022. The petition highlights the need for an independent voice for animals at the highest level and is supported by animal groups across the country.

World Animal Protection is the latest to align itself with SAFE’s call for a Commissioner for Animals. The international organisation joins national key stakeholders; the New Zealand Animal Law Association (NZALA), Helping You Help Animals (HUHA) and the New Zealand Anti-vivisection Society (NZAVS).

SAFE’S CEO Debra Ashton said a Commissioner for Animals will provide independent oversight, advice and accountability for animal welfare in Aotearoa.

"The current system is designed to benefit those who profit from the use of animals. Animals need independent representation that will defend their legal rights and ensure they have a voice under Aotearoa's Animal Welfare Act 1999."

Animal welfare in Aotearoa is currently regulated by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) - the same Government body responsible for improving agricultural productivity. This is a clear conflict of interest. Decisions on animal welfare policy are being driven by industry stakeholders with a vested interest in profiting from the use of animals. Other industries such as racing and rodeo are allowed to monitor their own animal welfare standards with little external oversight.

"Aotearoa has Government bodies to represent the most vulnerable populations in society, including the environment. Animals, however, are not represented by an independent voice."

Over 7,000 people have signed the petition for a Commissioner for Animals with many animal groups across Aotearoa reaching out to voice their support.

"SAFE is building a strong united front to represent animals and the appointment of a Commissioner for Animals is an important first step".

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