Who is Animals Aotearoa

Close-up of the head and neck of a white rescue chicken looking up. In the background, out of focus are a brown feathered chicken, some grass and a building.
Image credit – Jinki Cambronero.
Trees in a pine forest seen from above

The mission of Animals Aotearoa:

Ending the suffering of farmed animals
Kia mutu ai te whakataumaha i ngā kararehe pāmu

Animals Aotearoa shines a light on what is hidden behind the walls of factory-farm sheds, and helps chickens bred for meat by achieving corporate policies to substantially improve their welfare.

Animals Aotearoa is one of over 90 organisations who make up the Open Wing Alliance, a global coalition of animal advocacy organisations, with the shared purpose of working to substantially improve the welfare of chickens.

Animals Aotearoa is a registered charity formed at the start of 2021, with a grant from the Centre for Effective Altruism. The grant was from their Animal Welfare Fund to support campaigning for corporate policy change to improve the lives of the approximately 120 million chickens used in the meat industry in New Zealand. This grant was to pay for staff and operating expenses. We subsequently received a grant from the Open Wing Alliance to support our corporate campaigns work. Both funders have awarded us with additional grants.

Following the success of animal organisations overseas in achieving commitments from hundreds of food businesses to create significant welfare improvements for chickens, via the Better Chicken Commitment, we are working to create the same progress in Aotearoa.  

We know that caring Kiwis don’t tolerate animal suffering and together we are creating a life worth living for chickens.

Close-up of a white rescue chicken standing on the earth in a garden with foliage and a wooden pole behind her.

Why animals need protection

The Animal Welfare Act (1999) recognises that animals are sentient. Sentience means that animals have emotions, feelings, perceptions, and experiences that matter to them. These can be negative (such as pain or boredom) as well as positive (such as pleasure or comfort).

Despite sentience being legally recognised, the treatment and exploitation of animals do not reflect this. Animals are used in many ways, for example, reared for food and clothing, experimented on in laboratories, hunted, used in racing and rodeos for entertainment, and exterminated when labelled as ‘pests’.

The low standards of treatment and lack of enforcement of animal welfare laws are why New Zealand is ranked ‘C’ by World Animal Protection in their Animal Protection Index.  

It is up to us to create change!