Animal Welfare Act 1999

If you need more information about this Act, please contact the administering agency: Ministry for Primary Industries

Ill-treatment of animals

28 Wilful ill-treatment of animals


A person commits an offence if that person wilfully ill-treats an animal with the result that—


the animal is permanently disabled; or


the animal dies; or


the pain or distress caused to the animal is so great that it is necessary to destroy the animal in order to end its suffering; or


the animal is seriously injured or impaired.


For the purposes of subsection (1)(d), an animal is seriously injured or impaired if the injury or impairment—




prolonged pain and suffering; or


a substantial risk of death; or


loss of a body part; or


permanent or prolonged loss of a bodily function; and


requires treatment by or under the supervision of a veterinarian.


A person who commits an offence against this section is liable on conviction,—


in the case of an individual, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or to a fine not exceeding $100,000 or to both:


in the case of a body corporate, to a fine not exceeding $500,000.

Compare: 1960 No 30 ss 2, 4; 1993 No 19 s 3(1)

Section 28: substituted, on 7 July 2010, by section 5 of the Animal Welfare Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 93).

Section 28(3): amended, on 1 July 2013, by section 413 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011 (2011 No 81).