SPCA New Zealand
Animal Advocacy

Position Statements

Captive Animals

SPCA advocates that animals must only be kept in captivity if they are provided with a Good Life that provides positive welfare and meets their physical, health, behavioural needs for the duration of their lives. Species-appropriate enrichment for all captive animals is essential to ensure their welfare; and this enrichment must be varied to reduce habituation.

SPCA has significant concerns about the conditions of confinement for many animals as these are often insufficient to meet the animal’s needs. Our organisation advocates that a facility should not be permitted to keep or acquire animals unless it can adequately demonstrate that it has the resources and commitment to be able to provide for the animals’ physical, health, behavioural, social and environmental needs over their entire lifetime.

There is sufficient scientific evidence to support the view that cognitively complex species such as marine mammals, great apes, and elephants cannot be adequately kept in dolphinaria, aquariums, zoos, and other such facilities.

SPCA advocates that marine mammals, great apes, and elephants be released from captivity wherever possible, that no further animals of these species be taken from the wild or bred to restock their numbers kept in confinement, and that marine mammals, great apes and elephants who cannot be released be able to live the rest of their lives in an appropriate sanctuary providing a suitable habitat that meets their physical, health, behavioural, social and environmental needs.

SPCA opposes the capture, transportation, and acclimatisation of wild animals that causes distress and suffering. SPCA believes that the importation of further wild-caught animals into New Zealand should be prohibited as there are already large numbers of animals in captivity and being bred.

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