Animal welfare regulations are for everyone, both urban and rural writes Federated farmers Rotorua-Taupo Provincial President Alan Wills.

I've got some real concerns about the recent animal welfare complaint figures released by the SPCA in the Taupo and Rotorua area via a media report.

Animal ownership is not a right – it is a privilege and a responsibility. Even when you are farming animals for consumers to eat or to eat the products animals create – animals are to be treated with care and the utmost respect.

Read more from Federated Farmers here.

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It is also good sense when running a farming business to make sure your animals are okay – a happy well cared for and well fed-animal rewards us well.

Abuse is always about power – after all animals are not known for their ability to pick up the phone and call the police or the Ministry for Primary Industries for help.

The media report on the animal abuses recorded by the SPCA states the majority of complaints were made around the welfare of dogs.

Federated farmers Rotorua-Taupo Provincial President Alan Wills. Photo / Supplied.
Federated farmers Rotorua-Taupo Provincial President Alan Wills. Photo / Supplied.

It has come to our attention that not everyone is aware of new animal welfare regulations that came into force on October 1, so let me help remind you of your obligations.

Most of the regulations reflect existing standards, but the biggest changes relate to: electric prodders, transport of lame animals and cattle tail shortening, but there are also new rules around what you can do to your dogs.

Some of the rules touch on what can happen to you if leave your dog in a hot car, the use of collars and tethers, if you dock your dog's tail, or allow it to be docked, you could face a criminal conviction and fine. There are new restrictions on removing dogs' dew claws.

If you remove a front limb dew claw, or an articulated hind limb dew claw, from a dog of any age you could face a criminal conviction and a fine of up to $3000 for an individual, or $15,000 for the business.