‘Animals continue to suffer amid calls from agri-business to delay winter grazing’August 31st, 2022
Federated Farmers, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb NZ want intensive winter grazing regulations delayed yet again.
Intensive winter grazing regulations were meant to come into effect in May 2021, but were initially delayed until May 2022, only to be further delayed to November 2022.
SAFE CEO Debra Ashton said the multiple delays have left animals to suffer in cold, wet, and muddy conditions.
“The Government must not kick this can down the road again,” said Ashton.
“The agriculture industry has been left to self-regulate for the last two years and as a result, we’re seeing vulnerable cows and their calves continue to suffer in muddy paddocks. This winter has been no different.”
Environmental campaigners recently released footage of cows and their calves standing in a mud-filled paddock. The footage was captured in various locations across Aotearoa between June and August 2022.
When cows are kept in wet and muddy conditions, welfare issues that may result include poor hoof health and lameness, an inability to properly rest and ruminate, and an increased risk of mastitis. Calves born in muddy conditions are also at risk, as their small bodies make them vulnerable to suffering in cold and wet conditions.
“Winter grazing has been linked to terrible examples of suffering for animals and our land. Cows and their calves need the Government to act for them now.”