Animal welfare

Farm animals’ feelings focus on pioneering NZ study

[5 June/The Country] Scientists said exploring farm animal moods and personalities could help us improve their welfare, as well as the farms they’re found in. AgResearch Scientist, Dr Gosia Zobel, said they couldn’t directly measure how animals were feeling, so there was a need to find indirect measures which was what they were trying to...

Rotorua farm wins Ahuwhenua Trophy

 [30 May/Stuff] A small, yet productive dairy farm owned by Onuku Maori Lands Trust won the Ahuwhenua Trophy for Maori excellence in dairy farming, The announcement was made by the Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy in Christchurch. The farm milks 220 cows, producing about 90,000kg of milksolids. Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee Chairman, Kingi Smiler, said...

Hui on animal welfare

[15 May/Rural News] An all-day hui has been called to discuss priorities of the country’s animal welfare groups by the Associate Minister of Agriculture, Meka Whaitiri. The hui aimed to follow up on a promise not to ban rodeos. Ms Whaitiri said she wanted to hear the views and priorities of the country’s animal advocates...

New rules see fines for owners leaving dogs to overheat in cars

[29 March/NZ Farmer] People transporting sick or injured animals to slaughter plants could be fined $500. Cabinet approved a range of new regulations including fines for people using electric prodders. Fines had also been approved for people who leave dogs to overheat in cars or do not provide them with enough dry and shaded shelter....

Government won’t ban rodeo, animal welfare Minister says

[1 March/The Country] The Associate Minister of Agriculture, Meka Whaitiri, does not believe rodeos are harmful enough to be banned. She did however ask the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) to address some issues raised by animal activists. The former Ministry for Primary Industries National MP, Nathan Guy, supported Ms Whaitiri’s decision and added...

Dairy strategy prioritises environment, animal welfare

[22 November/ Radio New Zealand] Dairy NZ, Federated Farmers, the Dairy Council of New Zealand and the Dairy Women’s Network have unveiled a new strategy called Dairy Tomorrow. The new strategy would look at the future of farming in New Zealand and ways to improve it over the next decade. It would be based on...

Farmer fined for not treating diseased cow

[11 November/New Zealand Herald] Hastings Farmer Cedric Walter McGhie appeared in the Hastings District Court on Wednesday for sentencing after pleading guilty to two animal welfare charges. In November 2015, he sent a cow to the meat works with eye cancer. He claimed that he noticed the cow had its eye closed but did not...

Successful surgery on Queenstown kiwi

[9 November/New Zealand Herald] A breeding female kiwi at a Queenstown sanctuary has been saved by a rare emergency C-section. The Kiwi Birdlife Park keepers found Tawahi the kiwi having seizures. She was rushed to a vet where experts decided Tawahi was suffering from egg-binding meaning she was unable to lay her egg. She was...

Cows slaughtered after Mycoplasma bovis outbreak will be processed for food

[13 October/New Zealand Herald] A Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) spokeswoman has confirmed that the 4000 cows affected by the bacterial disease Mycoplasma bovis will go to the works for food processing as the sickness is not a food safety risk. A Spokeswomen said that no animals which are sick, severely injured or who have...

Farmer fined for failing to treat sheep

 [12 October/ New Zealand Herald] A Waihi farmer who was unable to treat 30 ill sheep on her farm has been banned from owning, exercising control over, or being in charge more than 100 sheep. Ms Coxhead was convicted of an animal welfare offence after Ministry for Primary Industries found dead sheep on her property...

$6000 fine for transporting 55 sick, severely lame goats

[12 October/Stuff] David Renouf Hutchings, 55, a stock trader who transported chronically ill goats was sentenced in the Rotorua District Court on Tuesday after earlier pleading guilty to three charges. The charges related to the transporting of 55 severely lame goats to a processing plant over three separate occasions. Mr Hutchings transported goats with injuries...

Shocking footage of mutant pigs being genetically bred by Cambodian farmers

[30 September/ New Zealand Herald] Video footage has been released showing Cambodian company, Duroc Cambodia, producing genetically modified hulk- like pigs kept in cages. By genetically altering the pigs to be larger, the farmers sell more meat and thus reap more money from sale. Videos of the pigs show that they are unable to walk...

Farmers avoid jail in ‘largest case of animal neglect’

[15 August/NZ Herald] Two farm managers responsible looking after two farms in Lumsden in the South Island for Castlerock Dairies Limited have appeared in the Invercargill District Court for sentencing on Animal Welfare Act charges. The charges followed the discovery of more than 900 cows that were affected by lameness after being required to undertake...

MPI says number of farms hit by cattle disease stays at two

[7 August/ NZ Herald] The Ministry for Primary Industries said it would take two to three months of testing before the two South Canterbury farms infected with Mycoplasma bovis could be declared free of the cattle disease. MPI said the two infected farms belonged to the Van Leeuwen Dairy Group. MPI’s Response Incident Controller Eve...

Ministry for Primary Industries reviewing Isis-linked worker’s sheep-killing video

[2 August/ Stuff] The Ministry for Primary Industries is deciding whether to investigate graphic footage, posted online by known Hawkes’ Bay Isis supporter Te Amorangi Kireka-Whaanga, of sheep having their throats cut. The video footage showed a man laughing as a sheep was slaughtered at Fresh Meats NZ Ltd in Napier. Te Amorangi Kireka-Whaanga founded...

New animal welfare regulations to be introduced

[20 July/ Radio NZ] The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is developing 46 new animal welfare regulations this year. The rules follow the stricter bobby calf regulations introduced last year. The most recent changes include a ban on docking dogs’ tails without vet approval, mandatory pain relief for cattle de-horning, and prohibiting the transportation of...

Cow disease found in dairy herd for first time in New Zealand

[25 July/ Stuff] 14 cows have been discovered on a dairy farm with the Mycoplasma bovis infection, a highly contagious cattle disease. About 150 cows on the property have clinical signs that indicate infection. MPI Director of Response Geoff Gwyn said the disease did not infect humans and presented no food safety risk. This is...

Hundreds of farmers won’t meet bobby calf laws

 [31 March/ Radio NZ] Due to lack of information on the changes, at least 600 Taranaki dairy farmers won’t comply with the new bobby calf laws by 1 August. After multiple filmed cases of bobby calf abuse in the past year, The Ministry for Primary Industries introduced stricter regulations for caring for and transporting bobby...

Taranaki tradies face calf pen building boom ahead of rule changes

[24 February/ Stuff] New Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) regulations for the welfare of bobby calves has caused builders to experience a surge of orders for holding pens as the new regulation deadline nears. Suitable shelter is to be provided to calves before and during transportation and at points of sale or slaughter from August...

5000 cows set to be shipped to China

 [27 January/ NZ Herald] The Awassi Express, owned by Sheikh Hmood Ali Al Khalaf, is currently in transit to New Zealand to collect more than 5,000 dairy cows to transport them to China.  The Sheikh was at the centre of a controversy over the export of 900 pregnant ewes to his Saudi Arabian farm two...

MPI ‘investigating rodeo’ over claims of animal abuse

 [Animal welfare /Yahoo New Zealand] Undercover footage recorded by an anti-rodeo campaigner at an event near Whangarei has been provided to the Ministry for Primary Industries who are checking whether the event was conducted in accordance with the Rodeo Code of Welfare.  The footage appears to show electric prods being used on calves, which would...

Massey prof recognised for animal welfare work over 29 years

 [Animal welfare/ Business Day: NZ Farmer] Professor David Mellor from Massey University has been awarded the Best Animal Welfare Academic in New Zealand by the Global Health and Pharma magazine.  Professor Mellor has worked at Massey for 29 years, but said the award was as much about the contribution made by his teams over the...

Kiwi research explores emotions in farm animals

[19 December/ Otago Daily Times] AgResearch Scientist, Gosia Zobel has been exploring the emotions of livestock in pioneering research that could improve the way animals were farmed. Ms Zobel said she wanted to understand, with a scientific basis, what the animals were feeling based on their behaviour, as opposed to just saying a dog wagging...

Costs of bobby calf ramps not high: MPI

[19 December/ Business Day: NZ Farmer] From 1 August 2017, farmers would have to provide loading and unloading facilities when young calves were transported for sale and slaughter. Farmers would also have to provide suitable shelter for young claves before and during transportation and at points of sale or slaughter. Federated Farmers Dairy Spokesman, Andrew...