Code of Welfare

The Animal Welfare (Layer Hens) Code of Welfare 2012 is the guiding document for all commercial egg farmers in New Zealand. This Code was developed by the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC), an independent panel of specialists in animal welfare appointed by the Government, and which includes veterinarians and a representative of the RNZSPCA. A link to NAWAC’s separate report on the 2012 Code, giving the reasons for its recommendations, is included on this page.

Under the regulations and provisions of the Code, which is administered by the Ministry for Primary industries (MPI), all commercial egg farmers are required to operate within legal requirements for food safety and suitability.

Every farm must also have a registered Risk Management Programme  (RMP). RMPs are designed to identify, control, manage, and minimise or eliminate hazards generally associated with human health, animal health, and with the labelling and “wholesomeness” of a product.

In simple terms, an RMP helps ensure that all aspects of a farmer’s or processor’s operation have been well considered and the resulting products are safe and fit for purpose. Farms and processing businesses are regularly audited by MPI inspectors.

More details about RMPs and other food safety requirements relating to egg farming are in the frequently asked questions section below.


Animal Welfare (Layer Hens) Code of Welfare 2012

Download the Animal Welfare Code of Welfare 2012


NAWAC Welfare Code Report: NAWAC’s reasons for commendations in the new Code, including colonies.

Download NAWAC Report


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