April 29, 2010

We have a new number for animal welfare complaints in New Zealand.

As a practising veterinarian in New Zealand I have received a  new fridge magnet which I have put up in my office... as the filign cabinet is the only metal I have around to stick it to...
but I wanted to let you know that anyone can use this number.

Last year the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) established a new phone number to use for reporting any suspected animal welfare offences - 0800 00 83 33. The new number also deals with all nationwide general MAF enquiries.

The new number is part of work underway at MAF to make it easier for the general public and
stakeholders to get in touch. For veterinarians, the concern they are reporting to MAF may be
about the animal of a client who has failed, and continues to fail, to follow their advice in terms of
mitigation of suffering. Or it may be about animals that, while not under the direct care of a veterinarian,
are believed to have compromised welfare or be suffering unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress.

Animal Welfare Inspectors (from MAF or SPCA) rely upon information received in order
to investigate complaints. They do have the power to prosecute, but the first approach in all but the
most serious situations is normally educative. As such, their role can be seen as complementary to the
professional role of veterinarians, as stated in the Code of Professional Conduct, of preventing and relieving
animal suffering.
So, at last, you can use it if you are worried about animals you are seeing... including livestock.


Comments welcome....always love to hear what you think!


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