Is animal cruelty illegal or legal in nz?

Animal cruelty is defined in many different ways varying from your location and the species of animal involved. For example; tethering a dog is considered "cruelty" in several US counties, but in other places tethering is considered an appropriate action.

New Zealand does have some animal cruelty prevention laws, but there are large loopholes and it doesn't really protect working animals. Depending on your definition, yes, Animal cruelty can be legal depending on the circumstances.