Animal welfare laws in spotlight

AMY MAAS
Last updated 16:36 04/10/2013
Fairfax NZ

Dog owners turned out to put their paw forward in support of the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill.

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Aucklanders are being urged to let their pets put their best paw forward during an event calling for better animal welfare laws to end cruelty.

Politicians, including the Greens' Mojo Mathers and ACT leader John Banks, have joined animal advocacy agencies on Queen St this morning where pets and their owners will be able to add a paw print and message to a giant banner submission on the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill.

The giant banner will then be presented to the select committee for primary production during hearings on the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill, which aims to "bring meaningful improvements to the lives of animals in New Zealand".

Mathers said the bill made improvements, but didn't tackle the big issues around the use of animals in primary production - such as live-animal exports - and animal testing.

Public interest in the submission has grown with issues such as factory farming, testing party pills on animals, live exports and cosmetic testing becoming more important to Kiwis, SAFE campaign director Eliot Pryor said.

"Some of the things we are asking for are quite easy for the government, like a ban on live exports and cosmetic testing," he said.

"These are things that as far as we know are not happening in New Zealand but we don't want them to happen in the future. No-one wants them to happen.

"There are also technical things that allow factory farming to happen and we want those tightened up and it's the perfect time for a review."

Today is the final day the public can make submissions before the bill is read in parliament.

Today's event, which also marks World Animal Day, has been organised by the Green Party and SAFE.

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