Animal welfare in NZ is vital from both an ethical perspective (it’s just the right thing to do!) and from the perspective of NZ’s image for trade. As of 1st October 2018, there have been some animal welfare updates which if breached can lead to a fine of over $500 each ($25,000 for a business) and prosecution. More information can be found at the Ministry for Primary Industry, but some points below:

Cattle and sheep cannot be transported:

  • With an injured udder or mastitis,
  • in late pregnancy (and give birth within 24 hrs),
  • with eye cancer that is >2cm or bleeding, or if they are lame
  • With ingrown horns or horns that may cause injury


  • Mulesing sheep is prohibited
  • Local anaesthetic must be used if castrating with a high tension band (not a rubber ring) or at over 6 months of age
  • Do not allow horns to become ingrown


  • Do not allow horns to become ingrown
  • Inserting objects into cows for milk let-down is prohibited
  • Removing any part of a cow’s tail is now prohibited
  • Do not use a goad to strike or prod livestock in sensitive areas
  • Local anaesthetic must be used for disbudding or dehorning


  • Shelter – make sure your animals have appropriate shelter (dry, shaded, ventilated, clean, big enough, food and water nearby)
  • Dogs on the backs of utes must be secured so they cannot fall off
  • It is best not to tether your goat for long periods, but collars and tethers must fit so the animal can eat, drink, breathe and pant and does not cause injury.
  • Castration
  • Equipment must fit, be clean, and not cause injury
  • Transporting calves – if the ute / deck is higher than 90cm, loading facilities are required.


Welfare 2016

There has been a bit of publicity again regarding animal welfare on farms. The 2014 Dairy Welfare Code outlines both minimum standards and best practice recommendations and is a cracking good read at only 40 pages! All welfare codes are available online.
As a profession we are passionate about both animal welfare, and farmer welfare!
We understand the realities of the farming environment and we are available to tailor a Welfare Policy for your farm and talk through the requirements with your staff. Some interesting points of note, in response to the media coverage:
  • Bobby calves must be fed, kept in suitable shelter, and handled with due care. As of next year, a ramp must be available for them to walk up to the truck.
  • Euthanasia by blunt force trauma is not allowed. Personnel must be trained and competent to use a firearm or captive bolt.
  • Hip lifters are to be removed if the cow cannot promptly support her own weight.
  • Cows must not be transported where her weight is taken entirely by the hip clamps/vehicle.
  • Cows supported in a sling must be able to breathe freely, not suffer unnecessary discomfort, and be lowered if they are not supporting their own weight within one hour.
  • If they are still recumbent after 48 hours, a vet examination is recommended – we can check for dislocated hips or other diagnosis, give a prognosis, or feedback on welfare.
  • Animals must be fit for Transport. Calves must be at least 4 days old, healthy, able to stand with a dry navel and fed within 2 hours. Adult cattle must be bearing weight evenly on all 4 legs; if they are lame or have any health issue, a vet may issue a certificate only if they meet certain criteria.
  • Milk letdown must not be stimulated by insertion of water or air into the vagina.
  • It is best practice to have an Animal Health Plan written in consultation with your vet. This provides an opportunity to go over husbandry skills, to plan ahead, and formalize decision trees for mastitis, lameness, calvings and recumbent cows for example.
There are also a set of codes for painful husbandry procedures; I would advocate for following Best Practice guidelines here,
such as always using pain relief for disbudding/dehorning.
Covid-19 Update 😷

To our wonderful clients, we are working hard to keep you and our team safe during this current climate. Unfortunately, even with protocols in place, people are still being impacted by this illness and that includes our team. We are managing this the best we can but there are times when we are not fully staffed.

Please be advised there may be longer wait times, days where we cannot offer our full range of services, and changes to our usual hours. Please be patient with us.We may have to reschedule your appointment at short notice as we take care of our staff too. We are sure you will appreciate that we are working exceptionally hard to provide the best care for your pets.

Thank you for your understanding and we will keep you updated as we work through the next few weeks.

Monday 8am - 7pm
Tuesday 8am - 7pm
Wednesday 8am - 7pm
Thursday 8am - 5pm
Friday 8am - 5pm
Saturday 8am - 12:30pm
Sunday 9am - 12noon