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Our vision is “A Good Life for All’ – animals, people and the environment. Veterinarians for Animal Welfare Aotearoa seeks to create better lives for animals using our knowledge and expertise in veterinary and animal welfare science. Click here for a short video about us. 

Veterinarians for Animal Welfare Aotearoa is led by veterinarians, and is a collective of animal welfare advocates, including veterinarians, allied veterinary professionals, animal welfare scientists, and other non-veterinary and body corporate members.

Veterinarians for Animal Welfare Aotearoa was established in 2022, to provide Aotearoa with an independent, veterinary-led, animal welfare advocacy voice.

So you’re a group of activists, right?

Actually, no - we are a collective of animal welfare advocates and we support the humane use of animals. The organisation seeks to improve animals’ lives such that their lived, sentient experience is as good as it can be.


Animal welfare advocates, like Veterinarians for Animal Welfare Aotearoa, believe animals can be used to benefit humans if they are humanely treated. 


The benefit to people must be balanced with the cost to the animal. Animal welfare can sometimes conflict with animal use and ethics.


Animal rights activists believe animals should have the same rights as humans and that people should not own or use animals in any way, such as for entertainment, research, work or in some cases, as companions.

Both these belief systems are underpinned by our own ethical viewpoints and belief systems. Ethics, including animal ethics (how we interact with, and use animals, or not), is a discipline in its own right.

Balancing welfare and ethics

Most people care about the welfare of animals, and do not want them to suffer. Attitudes about the treatment of animals depend on personal ethics - these may not always align with what’s best for an animal’s welfare. For example, religious opposition to euthanasia can prolong the suffering of a dying animal. 

Veterinarians for Animal Welfare Aotearoa approaches issues from the perspective of what is best for animal welfare, but 'A Good Life for All' means also considering the wellbeing of people - which includes staying true to their ethical values - and the environment in which we all live.

Image by Phil Botha



Veterinarians for Animal Welfare Aotearoa is a Charitable (CC60741) Limited Company; incorporated in 2022. It is governed by a Constitution that sets out the Rules of the Organisation and includes a Code of Conduct for Members.

A Managing Director manages the day-to-day operations of Veterinarians for Animal Welfare Aotearoa, in consultation with the Executive Committee

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