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People who leave dogs in hot cars can be fined under new animal welfare rules

Changes to the animal welfare system will allow Animal Welfare Inspectors from MPI and the SPCA to issue fines for people who leave dogs in hot cars.

Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor said that farmers also needed to be mindful with regulation changes to cover on-farm practices and transporting livestock.

"Two thirds of us have pets and we love them. Further, New Zealand’s economy relies on our social license to produce the finest food and fibre – and it can take one case of poor animal welfare to harm this," Mr O’Connor said.

The regulations have been developed over three years and target lower-end offending, Mr O’Connor said.

"From today, Animal Welfare Inspectors from MPI and SPCA can issue fines for certain actions, such as allowing dogs in cars to get heat stressed, or failing to provide tethered goats with access to water and shelter.

"Some of the regulations are infringement offences, with a set fine, while others are prosecutable offences, which could result in a larger fine and criminal conviction.

"Many of the transport-related regulations apply to farmers selecting lame, sick or injured stock, so farmers should check they are doing it right or face a $500 fine.

"Farmers and transporters can download the Fit for Transport app or go to the MPI website where an interactive tool brings together all regulations, guidance and minimum standards in the codes of welfare."

black labrador looking through car window
Source: istock.com