Praise Decision to Recognize Animals as Sentient Beings


Target: New Zealand Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy

Goal: Praise New Zealand for recognizing animals as sentient beings.

New Zealand has passed the Animal Welfare Amendment, which will recognize animals as sentient beings that can feel and perceive. The bill also includes a ban on cosmetic testing on animals.

This is a welcome change, seeing as how not long ago, New Zealand treated animals as “things” and “objects” rather than creatures who had feelings and emotions. Treating animals as things and objects only leads to abuse and neglect of animals. The change will give animal welfare inspectors the power to issue compliance notices and strengthen animal abuse provisions.

Many in the animal community are applauding this decision. Dr Virginia Williams, chair of the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee, said that this legislation “marks another step along the animal welfare journey,” and that, “to say that animals are sentient is to state explicitly that they can experience both positive and negative emotions, including pain and distress.”

Using animals for cosmetic purposes is cruel and wrong. We have the ability to create safe products without testing on animals, and the United Kingdom has recognized this and it has been banned in the UK since 1997. It is great that New Zealand has come to the same conclusion and is standing up for the rights of animals.

Strengthening New Zealand’s animal welfare laws will hopefully lead to stricter punishment for abusing animals and no longer using them for cosmetic testing. Please thank Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy for introducing this legislation and working to get it passed in New Zealand’s government.


Dear Mr. Nathan Guy,

I would like to thank you for listening to the animal rights community in New Zealand and introducing legislation that recognizes animals as sentient beings. This is a momentous decision that will positively impact animals in New Zealand.

The legislation also bans cosmetic testing of animals in New Zealand and will hopefully encourage stricter punishments for those who abuse or neglect animals. It is important that we see animals as living creatures who are capable of feeling emotions, rather than “objects” or “things” that don’t feel distress.

It is clear that people in New Zealand deeply care for the welfare of animals. Thank you for listening to your constituents and working hard to introduce legislation that will dramatically improve the lives of animals.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Waldo Jaquith

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  1. Shar Scotland Shar Scotland says:

    Thank you for restoring my faith in humanity. God Bless New Zealand!

  2. Lisbeth Alvarado Sanchez says:

    Well done New Zealand you are an example for other nations to follow.

  3. Finally — why would something so clear and obvious take so long to come to light — WE ALREADY KNOW THIS! THANK YOU!

  4. Animals have more brains than half of the population and more feelings.

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