The ZQ accreditation programme requires growers to take account of their animals five basic freedoms as described in both The Animal Welfare Act 1999 and the Animal Welfare (Sheep and Beef Cattle) Code of Welfare 2010, specifically:
- Freedom from thirst, hunger and malnutrition,
- Provision of appropriate comfort and shelter,
- Prevention, or rapid diagnosis and treatment of injury, disease or infestation with parasites,
- Freedom from distress, and
- Ability to display normal patterns of behavior.
These freedoms are assessed by qualified inspectors as part of the ZQ Merino auditing programme. Audits are by third party auditors, AsureQuality New Zealand Ltd, a government-owned company compliant to ISO Guide 65, ISO 9001 and accredited to JASANZ.
More information about how ZQ Merino addressed animal welfare and health can be found here…