[14 August/Rural Life]

The New Zealand Veterinary Association said it would embrace a pan-industry initiative on winter grazing. It expressed concerns about animal welfare consequences caused by poor practices. Chief Veterinary Officer, Helen Beattie, added there were common practices in some areas that often resulted in poor welfare for animals and environmental damage. She had been discussing key issues with the NZVA’s primary industry committees, members, other stakeholders, and environmental experts. She noted there was a lot of research that supported the concerns. NZVA welcomed engagement from regulators and other parts of industry to work together and develop solutions. Ms Beattie noted a pan-industry initiative would mean farmers were supported and provided with solutions. Beef + Lamb New Zealand CEO, Sam McIvor, said encouraging best practice across the sector was high priority for the organisation. Federated Farmers Meat and Wool Chairman, Miles Anderson, added farming was challenging at times, no matter where you were. Otago Regional Council Director of Environmental Monitoring and Operations, Scott MacLean, encouraged farmers to use environmental best practice.