The draft code of welfare for animals in New Zealand rodeos has been released for public consultation, following a review of the 2003 version.
Submissions on the code, released by the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, close on November 26.
The code is aimed at advising owners or persons in charge of animals about how they can comply with their obligations under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 to meet animals’ physical, health and behavioural needs and to alleviate pain and distress.
The act’s obligations are written in general terms and it is codes of welfare that contain the detailed minimum standards of care and recommendations for best practice.
Minimum standards in codes of welfare have legal effect as they may be used in evidence in the prosecution of offences under the act. Demonstrating compliance with minimum standards may be used in defending a prosecution.
The draft code of welfare applies to all animals used in rodeos, and includes animals used in training and rodeo schools.
The proposed minimum standards relate to stockmanship; food and water; selecting and handling animals; the arena; gear; saddle and bareback bronc riding; bull and steer riding; rope and tie; team roping; steer wrestling; calf and sheep riding; barrel racing; health, injury and disease; and emergency humane destruction.
The committee said the draft code sets out its assessment of the expectations of New Zealanders for the welfare of animals used in rodeos and has been reviewed by representatives of interested and affected parties.
It says it will carefully consider all submissions received before finalising the code and recommending it to the Minister for Primary Industries for issue.
The recommendations for best practice in the code have no legal basis and are included to encourage higher standards of animal welfare, the committee said.
The draft code and details of how to make a submission can be found here.