Factsheets - Sheep & Beef
The following fact sheets have been prepared by Anexa FVC Veterinarians as a guide to topics of interest. For specific information please contact your local vet.

Animal Welfare: What does May 2020 mean to people who work with animals in New Zealand?

This is when the law for Significant Surgical Procedures (SSP) comes into force. It will affect such procedures as horse dentistry and aims to propose clearer rules about who can carry out certain procedures on animals and how they must be done. There was public consultation during July 2019 and those documents are available on the MPI website.
If you want to know more about the changes in our Animal Welfare legislation and how they affect you, ask your veterinarian.

Below are some important ones that you as a farmer or animal carer should be aware of.


50. Docking cattle tails became law on 1st October 2018
  • You are prohibited from removing any part of a cow’s tail.
  • If a cow’s tail needs to be docked due to injury, talk to your veterinarian as it needs to be done using pain relief.
  • If you dock a cow’s tail you could face a criminal conviction and a fine of up to $3,000 for an individual, or $15,000 for the business.

53. Castrating cattle and sheep became law on 1st October 2018
  • You must not castrate cattle and sheep over 6 months old, without using local anaesthetic.
  • You must not castrate cattle and sheep at any age with a high tension band, without using local anaesthetic.
  • Failure to comply with this regulation could result in a criminal conviction and a fine of up to $3,000 for an individual, or $15,000 for the business.
  • A high tension band is one that is mechanically tightened during application (doesn’t include a rubber ring).

57. Disbudding cattle beasts
58. Dehorning cattle beasts
Disbudding and dehorning are painful.
  • From 1 October 2019, local anaesthetic must be used when disbudding and dehorning cattle.
  • If you disbud calves without using effective local anaesthetic you could face a criminal conviction and a fine of up to $3,000 for an individual, or $15,000 for the business.
  • If you dehorn cattle without using effective local anaesthetic you could face a criminal conviction and a fine of up to $5,000 for an individual, or $25,000 for the business.
  • This procedure isn’t limited to veterinarians – have a conversation with your veterinarian about training and the supply of local anaesthetic.
  • Talk to your disbudding contractor and make sure they’re up to speed with the requirements.
  • Avoid having to dehorn older cattle by using polled breeds, or disbudding them as young calves. Consider horn management with purchasing cattle.
For further information, please talk to your Anexa Vet


Date Added: Thursday, 26th September 2019


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