Friday, 27 March 2015 00:00

Care about animal welfare

Written by 
Nita Harding, DairyNZ. Nita Harding, DairyNZ.

Farmers need to take seriously the transportation of stock and be fully acquainted with the various animal welfare rules on this.

 That’s the view of DairyNZ’s team leader for animal husbandry and welfare, Nita Harding. Her comments come as MPI investigates a recent well-publicised complaint about skinny cows on a Cook Strait ferry.

Harding says she knows of the complaint but not whether it is valid or not. But she says with cellphones everyone has a camera and “there is nowhere to hide”.

She says farmers transporting stock cannot just call up a truck and load animals onto it. 

“Farmers need to think about what animals they’re putting in the truck and what condition they’re in. There’s a whole process farmers should be working through in selecting animals for transport; they shouldn’t delegate that job to a junior staff member. General guidelines [require taking account of] the mode of conveyance, duration of the journey, health of the animals, their age, body condition, physiological state and any particular stress to which the animals might be exposed.”

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