"New Zealand has a long history of animal cruelty and neglect". That's the title of the article produced by a New Zealand lawyer with a long-standing interest in New Zealand's standards governing the treatment of it's animals. It's quite a statement about a country that holds itself out as a world leader for animal welfare.
The author states that in terms of a willingness "to enforce animal welfare laws", it's time to take the responsibility away from New Zealand's Ministry for Primary Industries ("MPI"), and "give the job to someone who will act".
The opinion piece quotes figures, trends, and excerpts including a quotation from "a leaked MPI report" referencing an issue "that we (MPI) have known about for a long time but has generally been considered in the too hard area".
The opinion piece states: "MPI is funded to monitor and enforce animal welfare, but devotes only a tiny fraction of its resources to that task.
One reason for this is that, as noted above, the ministry has a conflict of interest in respect of animal welfare. Its key purpose is to support and increase exports. The ministry's website says that it is "helping maximise export opportunities for our primary industries, improve sector productivity, ensure the food we produce is safe, increase sustainable resource use, and protect New Zealand from biological risk".
Animal welfare is not mentioned at all. The drive to increase export returns obviously sits uneasily with animal welfare, as good treatment of animals is likely to be more expensive than doing the minimum".
Solutions are proposed. Five in fact. The first of the five begins by stating: "The (New Zealand) Government should create a Commissioner for Animals, which would be an independent and properly resourced role. The commissioner would focus solely on animal welfare and would not have the conflict of interest which MPI suffers in dealing with animal welfare".
You can read the other 4 by visiting https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/opinion/105077433/new-zealand-has-a-long-history-of-animal-cruelty-and-neglect.