SPCA New Zealand
Who to call for concerns about livestock animals

Who to call for concerns about livestock animals

SPCA and Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) share welfare calls in relation to abused, injured or neglected livestock animals (including cattle, deer, horses, sheep, pigs, goats, donkeys, llama/alpaca, emu/ostriches). Find out below who is the lead agency dependent on the concerns received.

SPCA and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) collectively deliver Inspectorate services across all animal species around New Zealand. On 1 August 2023, there will be a new agreement in how welfare complaints are shared.

A refreshed arrangement in early 2023 redirected the incoming welfare complaints around livestock animals to MPI – with the rollout being phased across the country. While this rollout was due to come to completion nationally on 1 July, the discussion about the best animal welfare outcomes continued through this phase.

This process led to a better understanding of how the two agencies can best deliver inspectorate services across all species, and a final service model has now been decided upon.

The below will take effect nationally from 1 August 2023, and this division of responsibilities will better align to the two organisations’ areas of expertise, to ensure that animal welfare is safeguarded across the country.

SPCA’s responsibilities

  • All small companion animals (cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs etc.)
  • Livestock of 10 or less on a property, in a non-commercial setting
  • Horses, where owned as companions
  • Horses for commercial purposes where numbers are under 10 (eg. Trekking company)
  • Poultry of 30 or less in non-commercial setting
  • Racing animals in non-race-day situations
  • Recreational hunting
  • Animals in petting zoos
  • Use of traps in residential/urban fringe areas
  • Temporary Housing facilities.

SPCA will retain privately owned horses in their Inspectorate remit and will move now to respond to complaints of livestock animals in locations with 10 or less animals of a particular species. This reverts back to a similar arrangement held prior to 2022, with the exception that SPCA used to respond to livestock calls in locations with 30 or less animals.

This agreement strikes the right balance with SPCA as the leading organisation for companion animals and smaller-scale livestock welfare issues – assuming the responsibility for inspecting, monitoring, and enforcing animal welfare standards in locations where the number of animals is limited.

We are able to bring our expertise in identifying and addressing welfare issues concerning companion animals, horses, and livestock in a limited setting, ensuring that these animals receive appropriate care and protection.

MPI’s responsibilities

  • Commercial farms
  • Livestock of 11 or more on a property
  • Animals participating in racing events or allegations of drug misuse or training techniques in regard to racing animals
  • Animals participating in rodeos
  • Commercial zoos and transitional facilities with MPI approved operators
  • Animals in a wild state and not related to recreational hunting
  • Research, testing and teaching

MPI is responsible for the broader agricultural and commercial farming sector, taking charge of regulating and overseeing animal welfare practices on commercial farms. Their primary focus lies in ensuring the welfare of animals in larger-scale operations and maintaining the standards and compliance required for commercial livestock production.

MPI has increased their attention on properties with 11 or more of one livestock species, recognising the importance of addressing animal welfare concerns in these settings. This gives them more oversight of animals at risk of Foot and Mouth disease, for which they also have disease surveillance and control responsibilities within New Zealand also.

If you have concerns about an animal being neglected or treated with cruelty, please contacteither organisation who can guide you on where your report needs to be placed.

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