DOC must comply with the Code of Ethical Conduct when using animals in research, testing and teaching. Published 2019.

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Code of Ethical Conduct for the use of animals in research, testing and teaching (PDF, 345K)


The Department of Conservation is the government agency responsible for the conservation of New Zealand’s natural biodiversity and historic heritage.

DOC seeks to improve the state of biodiversity by preventing threats (including fire, weeds and invasive species) to biodiversity, and by undertaking work to support the ecological integrity of public conservation lands and waters.

To achieve this goal, DOC undertakes many operational activities involving the protection and husbandry of animals as well as undertaking animal pest control. It also undertakes research, testing and teaching (RTT) to contribute to the understanding of ecosystems, biodiversity and species conservation.

The Department recognises that the use of animals in RTT has a cost that must be weighed against the potential benefit obtained.

This Code of Ethical Conduct is designed to comply with all the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act 1999. Of particular relevance in the Animal Welfare Act 1999 is Part 6: “Use of Animals in RTT”, enabling the consideration of the use of specified animals in RTT by the Department of Conservation.

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