The Green Party wants control of animal welfare placed in the hands of an independent body.
The call comes after the government revealed proposed changes to the Animal Welfare Act which include new rules for live animal exports and tougher fines for rule breakers.
An outline of the proposed changes was revealed on Monday by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
A major proposed change is to replace the codes of welfare and rules for live animal exports with a mix of mandatory standards and guidelines which could incur penalties if they aren't followed.
The maximum fine would also be increased from $200 to $1000.
The role of the National Animal Welfare Advisory Council would shift from developing regulations to more of an advisory role.
MPI's Animal Welfare Matters report is also proposing that "practicality" and "economic impact" be included in criteria for decisions on animal welfare standards.
In exceptional circumstances animal welfare rules can be waived. This provision is rarely implemented but has been used for layer hens, pigs, circus animals and commercial slaughter in the past.
The proposal is to allow for rules to be waived when either a new animal welfare regulation is being adopted (such as phasing out sow stalls in 2015) or if there is a need to exempt a practice from welfare rules (such as religious practice).
Green Party animal welfare spokeswoman Mojo Mathers said the review gives New Zealand the opportunity to solidify its place as a world leader in agriculture and animal welfare.
She said that while there are some good elements to the proposals, there is still significant room for improvement.
The Green Party wants control of animal welfare to be placed with an independent body outside the MPI.
"There is an un-reconcilable tension between protecting the needs of animals and benefiting from their exploitation. An independent Commissioner for Animal Welfare would help remove this tension, she said.
Should the Brits be allowed to claim Sir Ed?Vote
Copyright © 2013 Yahoo! New Zealand
All rights reserved.
Select your region to see news and weather for your area.