Thursday, 21 July 2016 13:55

Expect a court summons for bobby calf abuse – MPI

Written by  Peter Burke
MPI's Scott Gallacher. MPI's Scott Gallacher.

With new regulations on bobby calves in force from August 1, MPI is encouraging people to report breaches.

The rules ban trucking bobby calves younger than four days old, set 12 hours as the maximum journey time, prohibit the shipping of young calves across Cook Strait and forbid 'blunt force' (blow to the head) killing of calves except in an emergency.

MPI's deputy director-general Scott Gallacher says the vast majority of New Zealand farmers do the right thing day-to-day in the welfare of their animals; MPI is confident the welfare message has got out to farmers.

"We are not only working with all the players in industry; we have undertaken a media campaign direct to consumers, the public and farmers to make sure everyone knows that if they see anything causing concern [they should] contact MPI and we'll get to the bottom of it."

MPI's campaign on the new regulations is to alert anyone interested in animal welfare to their right to call the ministry, Gallacher says.

"I am encouraging people to reach out on any issue. It might well be an education programme all round because we are aware that people often see something that concerns them. I don't want them left in the dark with no-one to talk to.

"It is quite powerful for us when we get back to people and say 'we have investigated that and it wasn't what you thought; it was actually this situation and there was no breach of the animal welfare rules'. From our perspective it is part of an education process in having had a conversation with them."

Gallacher says this is part of the process of reassuring the public that MPI will investigate any complaint and if there is a breach of regulations it will prosecute.

"As soon as we have information in front of us that highlights offending then we prosecute.

"In fact... on the bobby calf issue that played out last year we prosecuted one case, had a guilty plea and we have currently got a company director in court and we are continuing to investigate.

"We also have other prosecutions underway relating to animal welfare issues. We want people to see that we take this seriously and that we prosecute people who break the law."

Gallacher says MPI is trying to hold to account the "minority" of people who don't look at the rules, or who ignore the rules and do not consider the rights of animals.

» Connect with Rural News

More like this

Hort export figures challenged

Horticulture's export revenue growth is likely to be about 10% in the current financial year – not the 3.8% forecast by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Dairy welfare code revamped

The code of welfare for dairy cattle has been amended to address behavioural needs and off-paddock systems, says the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC).

» The RNG Weather Report

Featured

Food bowl or toilet bowl?

New Zealand shouldn't become a 'toilet bowl' of trees for other countries' carbon dioxide commitments, explains John Jackson.

 

What’s your favourite plant?

Forest owners are urging people to vote for tōtara as plant of the year in a poll being conducted by the New Zealand Plant Conservation Network.

» Connect with Rural News

» Connect with Rural News

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Logging spin

OPINION: The Hound notes that the foreign-owned and controlled NZ forestry industry is starting to feel the pressure of the…

EU waste

OPINION: This old mutt was interested to read a recent New York Times expose of the European Union’s agriculture subsidy…

» Connect with Rural News