The Animal Welfare Act gives animals in New Zealand legal protection from ill treatment.
This Act provides some recourse for those who abuse animals or who fail to provide necessities for their well being.
However, while the Act covers pets and some farm animals, factory farmed animals are exempt from the Animal Welfare Act, making it legal to subject pigs and chickens to cruel living conditions and depriving them of basic needs.
NZ has agreed to ban pig sow stalls by the end of 2015 and all battery hen cages by 2022, but until then pigs and chickens are able to be kept unable to move around freely and unable to display natural behaviours. In addition it is likely they experience pain and distress throughout their lives.
Why does our animal welfare legislation reflect such inconsistency?
If NZ is indeed a nation of animal lovers do we need to place animal welfare above the financial gains of factory farming and insist on immediate amendments to the law?
Should animal welfare be a higher priority for our politicians?
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