Inclusiveness and science were, and are, essential contributors to the development and operation of New Zealand's current system for managing animal welfare at a national level. The involvement of individuals and groups with diverse interests, having aligned, complementary or opposing views, is considered to be a most important part of this process. Participants include animal behaviour, production, welfare and wildlife scientists, animal welfare advocates, educators, ethicists, veterinarians, primary industry stakeholders, regulators, lay people and others. The outcome, after 25 years of activity, has been an integrated and comprehensive animal welfare management infrastructure. Legislative and regulatory initiatives established a national advisory committee and related animal ethics committee system for managing the scientific use of animals, as well as a similar national advisory committee for dealing with welfare matters relevant to all other animal uses in New Zealand. The responsible use of animals in science is critically evaluated by a cooperative Australian and New Zealand council, and, within New Zealand, two animal welfare consultative and liaison groups with diverse membership, one including politicians, have enhanced communication about wider animal-related matters. Building on substantial prior experience in animal-based sciences, marked increases in research, scholarly and educational activities in animal behaviour, health and welfare sciences were fostered through the establishment of dedicated research groups and centres, leadership positions and tertiary-level courses, supported by institutional, governmental, industry-related and other funding. The quality, depth and breadth of the research and scholarship so generated, and extensive mutually beneficial interactions internationally have provided, and provide a secure foundation for formulating animal welfare policies and framing credible animal welfare standards that are applied nationally.
|Publication Title||Applied Animal Behaviour Science|
|Author Address||Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre, Massey University, Private Bag 11 222, Palmerston North, New Zealand. D.J.Mellor@massey.ac.nz|
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