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API Event in Parliament Focuses on the Importance of Animal Welfare in Trade

On 26 March 2024, Members of Parliament, government officials, industry and NGO representatives met in the New Zealand Parliament for the launch of our new report Closing the Welfare Gap: Why New Zealand Must Apply Its Animal Protection Standards to Imports.

The event was organised by Animal Policy International and hosted by Green MP Steve Abel, spokesperson for Agriculture and Animal Welfare, who emphasised the necessity of extending welfare standards to all products in order to protect farmed animals, stating “In the longer term it is unsustainable not to apply welfare standards to all products placed on the market. Otherwise, instead of improving the welfare of animals, as demanded by New Zealanders, the production is simply shifting to countries where there are little or no standards.”

Attendees heard speeches from Abel, Animal Policy International, SPCA, NZALA, and watched a short video.

Speaking at the event, our Co-Executive Director Rainer Kravets stressed that applying animal welfare standards also to imports is a policy that both animal advocates and farmers in New Zealand can get behind saying “Allowing imports with lower welfare standards creates a race to the bottom that sells out New Zealand values and farmers. Just as we regulate imports to safeguard our biosecurity, we should also do so for animal welfare, protecting the values of New Zealanders and upholding our reputation.” 

SPCA Chief Scientific Officer Arnja Dale said, “there’s a clear disconnect between our laws and imports. Animals overseas are being kept in conditions that New Zealanders have already clearly rejected, and yet products from those conditions continue to be sold to New Zealand consumers. The new government has an opportunity to close the welfare gap by extending animal welfare regulations to imports.”

Photos by: Florence Hillyer-Brandt

Read the full report.

Read an article on Radio New Zealand and listen to an interview with API. 


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