Forty-five new regulations designed to strengthen the animal welfare system will come into effect on October 1, covering a range of species and activities, from stock transport and farm husbandry procedures to companion and working animals like dogs and horses.

The Ministry for Primary Industries director for animal health and welfare Dr Chris Rodwell said with less than a month to go until the new regulations took effect, the ministry was encouraging people who were responsible for any type of animal to check they were up to date.

"Our team has been working with industry and sector groups to raise awareness of the regulations and ensure people understand and can meet their responsibilities," he said.

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"Most New Zealanders already care for their animals well, so if you're already doing the right thing you won't see a lot of change. The majority of the regulations reflect existing standards, but there are a few that do set new rules and requirements, such as prohibiting the tail docking of cows and dogs.

"Even if you already think you are doing the right thing, it's best to check and make sure you are."

One of the major changes was that it would become easier for the MPI and the the SPCA to take action against those responsible for mistreating animals.

"These regulations will allow us to better respond to lower levels of offending, and target specific behaviours that need to change," he added.

"For example, if people allow their animal's horns to become ingrown, they can be fined $500.

"We will continue to prosecute the worst offenders under the Animal Welfare Act."
The regulations can be found at www.mpi.govt.nz/animalregs.