SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare

Competitive and Fundraising Events

Animals in Entertainment, Sport, and Work

SPCA advocates for organisational responsibility for competitive and fundraising events to ensure that all animals used have their physical, health, and behavioural needs met.

Organisers of competitive events and animal owners must ensure the safety and welfare of participating animal(s). The animals must be fit, healthy, and appropriately trained, and there must not be unreasonable demands placed on competing animals. Drugs or surgical procedures, including masking pain, must not be used to alter the performance of an animal to enable it to compete.

SPCA supports the use of low-stress, force-free handling and training methods for animals used in competitive events.

(see Handling in Farmed Animals and Training in Companion Animals)

SPCA opposes the use of animals for competitive or fundraising events where they experience fear, pain, or distress.

During the competition and while in training, an animal must not be subjected to excessive behavioural restriction, discomfort, or constant pressure via the use of equipment that causes negative welfare states.

SPCA is opposed to the forced involvement of animals in novelty competitive events for fundraising or entertainment when such use is contrary to the animal’s nature, or may involve suffering, or otherwise adversely affect their welfare, due to the likelihood that the animals will experience fear and distress and because of concerns for their fate after the event.

SPCA opposes the use of dead animals in contests.

SPCA is concerned with events where animals are dressed up or tossed, because of the potential for these activities to undermine the children’s development of empathy towards all living beings that a compassionate and developed society requires. All animals, even in death, are deserving of respect whether they are considered a pest, are farmed, or live within people’s homes.

SPCA opposes animal hunts taking place in association with schools and with the involvement of children.

SPCA opposes schools in New Zealand continuing to organise animal hunts as entertainment or for fundraising. Activities such as these are known to normalise the killing and disrespect of animals and undermine the development of empathy towards all living beings that a compassionate and developed society requires.

Our organisation advocates children are taught "compassionate conservation” and should not be encouraged to hate animals on the basis of a label. All animals, whether alive or dead, are deserving of respect, whether they are considered pest, are farmed, or live within people’s homes. SPCA advocates for children to develop an understanding of and empathy for all animals.

SPCA opposes pig hunting due to the inherent cruelty associated with the use of dogs hunting pigs and the welfare compromise for both the pig and the dog.

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