SPCA New Zealand
Animal Advocacy

Position Statements

Tethering (Companion Animals)

SPCA advocates for animals to be provided with a properly fenced area which allows them to have a Good Life where they experience positive welfare and their physical, health, and behavioural needs are met.

Animals should be provided with a properly fenced area which allows them: adequate space to move around and express normal behaviours, the ability to interact with other animals where appropriate, suitable shelter from all conditions, and access to adequate food and clean water.

Our organisation supports short term tethering for veterinary or husbandry procedures where the animal is at risk of injuring itself or the people involved, and under the advice or direction of a veterinarian or experienced person.

When it is necessary to temporarily use a tether, specific care must be taken to select a type and length which ensures that the animal is prevented from likely or actual harm.

SPCA opposes the practice of routinely securing animals on a length of rope or chain, known as tethering, unless it is necessary for a short period due to husbandry reasons.

SPCA advocates for the prohibition of routine tethering of animals, because in most cases their health, physical and behavioural needs cannot be met during long periods of tethering.

Tethered animals are unable to perform natural behaviours, have their movement restricted, and are restricted from social contact. Tethered animals are not usually provided with sufficient shelter from all conditions or adequate and continuous access to appropriate feed and water.

SPCA is concerned about the dangers associated with tethering animals including; entanglement, and resulting injury or strangulation, frequent and severe collar injuries, and tethered animals being vulnerable to humans or other animals who might harass or attack them.

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