SPCA New Zealand
Animal Advocacy

Position Statements

Behavioural Assessment of Animals

SPCA advocates for rescue organisations to conduct a full and holistic assessment of behaviour prior to rehoming.

There is a need to screen animals to identify those requiring behavioural interventions. Animals should be assessed prior to making them available for rehoming to assist with matching with appropriate potential homes.

SPCA advocates that behavioural assessments should be holistic and take into account all available information.

All information, such as behavioural history, how they behave in foster care and notes from primary carers and veterinary staff at the shelter should be considered.

SPCA opposes decisions about an animal’s fate being made solely based on the information from a standardised behavioural assessment.

Where available for the species and age, scientifically-validated standardised behaviour assessments should be used. Standardised behavioural assessments are designed to provoke negative reactions and provide a limited snap shot of how an animal behaves in the shelter environment context and should only be used as part of holistic behavioural assessment.

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