SPCA New Zealand
Animal Advocacy

Chained Dogs

Animal Advocacy

Chained Dogs

The Problem

The prolonged tethering or confinement of dogs is an issue that our inspectors deal with daily. While it is difficult to gather accurate numbers, it is safe to say that there are thousands of dogs in New Zealand that are subjected to prolonged tethering or confinement.

Tethering or chaining a dog describes the tying of a dog with a rope, line, or chain to a fixed stationary point (also referred to as ‘life chaining’ when prolonged). Close confinement of a dog describes a situation where a dog is contained in an enclosure that provides insufficient space to meet their physical, health and behavioural needs.

The current legislative and regulatory framework restricts animal welfare inspectors’ ability to mitigate the suffering of the majority of these animals. SPCA has raised the issue of prolonged tethering or confinement with MPI and the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee consistently over a number of years. This includes when submitting on the Dog Code of Welfare; in our submission on the animal welfare regulations in 2016; at workshops for proposed regulations in 2015 and 2017; and via several liaison meetings with MPI since the 2018 regulations were implemented. We have also raised this issue with Minister Whaitiri.

The Solution

SPCA advocates for new, directly enforceable regulations via an amendment to the Animal Welfare (Care and Procedures) Regulations 2018.

The Government will soon close the public consultation period on a number of different proposed regulations to address dog tethering. SPCA, other animal welfare organisations and many members of the public submitted on the proposed regulations.

What does this mean?

It means the call of over 20,000 New Zealanders who added their voice through our Break the Chain campaign did not go unheard. There are still several steps until these proposed regulations come into force but because of your support, these dogs are one step closer to a better life. Thank you to everyone who raised your voice for the animals!

Stay in Touch

Thanks to overwhelming public pressure, and decades of advocacy work from SPCA and other animal protection organisations, the Ministry for Primary Industries has drafted regulations to address dog tethering. These are due to come into force by the end of 2023.

Sign up for updates on details on the dog tethering regulations, other SPCA advocacy work, and other ways you can help create a better life for animals.

Sign up
Hello! Choose your nearest SPCA Centre and see content specific to your location:
Hit enter to submit