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Why New Zealand is a Great Place to Be an Animal

Why New Zealand is a Great Place to Be an Animal


In 2015, New Zealand passed the groundbreaking Animal Welfare Amendment Act, which recognizes animals as “sentient beings." This means that New Zealand officially acknowledges that animals can experience positive and negative emotions, as well as pain and distress…just like humans. While this concept comes as no surprise to animal lovers, the fact that it is now explicitly stated in New Zealand law has important implications for animal welfare.


Animal advocates in New Zealand say that the law creates a whole new way for people to think about and behave towards animals. Instead of animals being classified as things or property, they now must be treated as living, feeling creatures.


The law clears the way for much stricter bans on animal testing and harsher penalties in animal abuse and neglect cases. Under the law, animal welfare workers are given greater authority and animal cruelty cases previously classified as low or medium can be treated more seriously.


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The law is a victory in the ongoing battle to end the suffering of farm, companion, and laboratory animals worldwide. You can read the text of the Animal Welfare Amendment Act HERE.


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