[28 June/The Country]

According to Associate Agriculture Minister, Meka Whaitiri, footage of a farmer violently hitting cows was disturbing. She said more animal welfare inspectors were a priority for the government. She emphasised that any bad treatment of animals, regardless of the reason, was not acceptable. She added the Ministry for Primary Industries was investigating and she had to wait for the outcome. The prior claims of ill treatment against the dairy farmer were dropped due to lack of evidence. Ms Whaitiri released a new framework for animal welfare that set out what would be a clearer, more transparent and inclusive system. She noted she thought the reset would be clear to animal advocate groups and industry people that the Government was serious about improving animal welfare outcomes.