This Code of Practice for the hunting of the hare has been approved by the NZHA and New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and its implementation is the responsibility of the respective Masters of each affiliated Hunt in New Zealand. The Code has been prepared in recognition of recent amendments to the Animal Welfare Act 1999, with particular reference to the treatment of and hunting of wildlife.


“The Code” incorporates and adopts all references in relation to the hunting and treatment of wildlife as published and amended from time to time by the MPI.

“Master” means the Master, Joint Masters, or any person appointed to act in their capacity.

  1. The sport of hunting the hare with hounds means hunting the hare in its wild and natural state with a rigidly managed pack of hounds bred and highly trained for this purpose and obedient to a Huntsman and the Whippers-In. The overall control and conduct of the hounds is the responsibility of the Master of each respective Hunt.
  2. The only hounds which may be used for the sport are those bred solely for the purpose and are microchipped from an approved age and registered with the NZHA.
  3. The use of (CB) radios, portable radios or mobile phones must never be used to locate, rediscover, or assist in the sport of hunting the hare.
  4. The followers of any hunt (mounted or otherwise) must never interfere in any hunt by attempting to block or divert the hare from its progress.
  5. A hare which has taken refuge beyond the reach of the pack must be left and not pursued again.
  6. The quarry (hare) must be treated in accordance with good animal welfare practice and the Animal Welfare Act 1999 where ever possible.

The Master shall be responsible for:

  1. Ensuring that the Huntsman, Whippers-In and any Hunt contractors/employees adhere to the Code.
  2. The control and behaviour of all Hunt contractors/employees and, during hunting, all persons following the hunt.
  3. The complete discipline of the hounds.
  4. The training of hounds to hunt hare exclusively.
  5. Hounds being turned out in good health and condition and fit for the sport.
  6. Any hounds found unfit to take part shall be withdrawn and given appropriate treatment.
  7. Horses being turned out in good and healthy condition fit to take part in a hunt.
  8. The Master may order a horse from the field if felt its welfare was in question or its behaviour was deemed inappropriate or dangerous to itself or other horses, or to its rider or other riders.