A Green approach to animal welfare considers animals before profits, and provides the New Zealand public with the opportunity and knowledge to value, and engage with, animal welfare issues. We will do this by establishing an independent, parliamentary voice for animal welfare to hold our primary industries to account, and ensuring that animals do not get exploited for the purposes of entertainment. To increase public awareness of the importance of animal welfare issues, we will also support educational programmes and informed consumer choice as it relates to animal welfare.
All sentient animals (domestic or otherwise) within Papatūānuku and the domains of Tāne and Tangaroa are respected and held to have intrinsic worth, and their rights are upheld.
Values and Principles
Policy decisions relating to animal welfare must uphold the following values and principles:
- Honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi: Respecting the mauri of all animals within Papatūānuku, and the domains of Tāne and of Tangaroa includes revealing and upholding the whakapapa tangata whenua have with te taiao. This means animals are due respect, love and rights.
- Ecological Wisdom: Reducing animal exploitation practices that drive environmental pollution, climate change, and zoonotic pandemics improves ecological and human wellbeing. Protection and restoration of indigenous biodiversity should be paramount.
- Social Responsibility: Ownership of animals, including companion animals, is a responsibility, not a right, that includes ensuring a high quality of life for all animals in people’s care.
- Appropriate Decision-Making: The rights and wellbeing of sentient animals, who are not able to advocate their own needs and perspectives, should be given weight in all relevant decisions.
- Non-Violence: Animals should not be exploited or harmed for farm production, entertainment, or by human neglect, and their distress and pain should be minimised. Empathy and compassion towards all animals should be nurtured. Humans should remember our connections with other species and ensure that no cruelty occurs between us living together.
The Green Party’s strategic goals include:
“Our laws and practices will respect the biological integrity of all life, while prioritising the health of indigenous species and ecosystems.”
Actions in this policy that work towards this goal include:
- Prohibit new, and phase out existing, factory farming of animals, including highly intensive outdoor facilities such as feedlots. (1.6)
- Limit the permissible journey length for transporting live farm animals for any purpose in consideration of their suffering while being transported. (1.11)
- Ensure that RNZSPCA is adequately resourced to undertake its animal welfare enforcement and education work. (1.21)
- Require non-animal methods of experimentation and testing to be used wherever they exist. (3.6)
In this policy, animal welfare is explored in the contexts of Agriculture, Food, Recreation and Sport, and Research. Other policies consider the wellbeing of animals in the wild - see our Conservation, Environmental Protection, Land Use and Soils, and Climate Change Policies.