Animal Law Review

First Page



In 2015, two animal rights organizations in New Zealand released undercover footage exposing widespread cruelty to some of the country’s most vulnerable, and invisible, farm animals: young male calves born into the dairy industry. The footage shocked the New Zealand public. In order to put pressure on the government to adopt meaningful reforms for the protection of these animals, an animal rights organization, Save Animals From Exploitation, placed advertisements in The Guardian highlighting the cruelty in the New Zealand dairy industry. The resulting publicity led to an unprecedented response from the regulating agency, the Ministry for Primary Industries, which swiftly promulgated new regulations governing the treatment of young calves in New Zealand.

This Article analyzes the impact of the regulatory reforms introduced. It then uses the reforms as a case study to determine the principal drivers of animal law reform in New Zealand. The Article argues that the most influential force that shaped the Ministry’s response to the undercover investigations was a desire, prompted by The Guardian advertisements, to protect New Zealand’s international reputation as an ethical producer of animal products. The Article then explores the implications of these findings for the future of animal welfare activism and reform in New Zealand.

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Animal Law Commons



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