National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee
The National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) was established under the Animal Welfare Act to provide independent advice on animal welfare to the Minister for Primary Industries.
NAWAC's role in animal welfare
NAWAC gives the Minister for Primary Industries advice on:
- the welfare of animals in New Zealand
- animal welfare research needs
- legislative proposals
- codes of welfare
- traps and devices
- hunting and killing animals in a wild state.
Section 57 of the Animal Welfare Act 1999 lists all of NAWAC's functions.
Find out more
NAWAC prioritises its work to make the most of its limited resources while improving animal welfare in New Zealand. NAWAC uses a framework to decide which animal welfare issues to address first. The committee updates its work programme every year.
Download NAWAC's prioritisation framework [PDF, 52 KB]
Download NAWAC's work programme [PDF, 337 KB]
NAWAC has published guidelines explaining how the committee works. It updates the guidelines regularly to reflect the experiences gained during NAWAC's deliberations.
These guidelines are not a legal interpretation of the Animal Welfare Act 1999.
- Approach to the consideration of draft codes of welfare [PDF, 35 KB]
- Dealing with practices which might be inconsistent with the spirit of the Animal Welfare Act [PDF, 43 KB]
- Setting minimum standards where section 73(3) applies [Revoked] [PDF, 66 KB]
- Process for the development of codes of welfare [PDF, 112 KB]
- Role of science in setting animal welfare standards [PDF, 37 KB]
- Wider issues relevant to setting minimum standards [PDF, 62 KB]
- Taking account of society’s ethical values, technical viewpoints and public opinion [PDF, 23 KB]
- Balancing animal welfare needs [PDF, 75 KB]
- Assessing the welfare performance of restraining and kill traps [PDF, 88 KB]
- Phasing out one animal management system in favour of another [PDF, 25 KB]
- Principles of consultation [PDF, 60 KB]
- Prioritisation framework [PDF, 52 KB]
- Recommending regulations where section 183A(2) applies [PDF, 37 KB]
- Determining level of intervention [PDF, 94 KB]
- Review of the use of farrowing crates for pigs in New Zealand [PDF, 153 KB]
- NAWAC report on greyhound racing [PDF, 139 KB]
- NAWAC opinion on animal welfare issues associated with selective breeding [PDF, 8.1 MB]
The understanding that animals are sentient (able to perceive or feel things) has always been important in NAWAC's work.
NAWAC acknowledges the official recognition of animal sentience in the Animal Welfare Act in 2015. With sentience now formally recognised, NAWAC continues to integrate the idea of animal sentience in its work, including in codes and standards as they are developed and reviewed.
Animal sentience workshop
NAWAC and the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee (NAEAC) jointly hosted an Animal Welfare Sentience Workshop in November 2017. Participants representing diverse sectors, industry groups and organisations discussed the inclusion of animal sentience within the Animal Welfare Act and what it means for the work of NAWAC and NAEAC.
Animal sentience workshop report [PDF, 296 KB]
We'll post videos of the workshop presentations here soon.
NAWAC holds 4 ordinary meetings a year. Summaries from the meetings are published on this website, or you can request copies – email firstname.lastname@example.org
- 9 May 2018 [PDF, 125 KB]
- 14 February 2018 [PDF, 111 KB]
- 14 November 2017 [PDF, 126 KB]
- 30 August 2017 [PDF, 129 KB]
- 17 May 2017 [PDF, 36 KB]
- 22 February 2017 [PDF, 43 KB]
- 16 November 2016 [PDF, 45 KB]
- 17 August 2016 [PDF, 211 KB]
- 18 May 2016 [PDF, 42 KB]
- 17 February 2016 [PDF, 45 KB]
- 4 November 2015 [PDF, 38 KB]
- 5 August 2015 [PDF, 32 KB]
- 20 May 2015 [PDF, 116 KB]
- 10 March 2015 [PDF, 112 KB]
- 5 November 2014 [PDF, 36 KB]
- 6 August 2014 [PDF, 115 KB]
NAWAC produces an annual report which covers all of its operations for the year, including work on codes of welfare and regulations, and updates on research.
Download the latest NAWAC annual report [PDF, 384 KB]
Membership of NAWAC
NAWAC is made up of a chairperson, the chairperson of the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee, and up to 9 other members. The Animal Welfare Act 1999 lays out requirements for membership. Members are chosen for their expertise and need a range of knowledge and experience including:
- veterinary science
- agricultural science
- animal science
- commercial use of animals
- care, breeding and management of companion animals
- ethical standards and conduct in respect of animals
- animal welfare advocacy
- understanding of the public's interest in animals
- environmental and conservation management.
Members can be nominated by a relevant organisation but do not represent the nominating organisation on the committee. Any vacancies on the committee are also advertised on this website and the Government's jobs website.
- Browse MPI's current vacancies and register for email alerts
- Search for governance board vacancies on Jobs.govt.nz
Who to contact
If you have questions about the committee, email email@example.com
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