Animal welfare

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...

New chief executive for New Zealand Veterinary Association

 [8 December/ Scoop Independent News] The New Zealand Veterinary Association has appointed Mark Ward as its new chief executive. New Zealand Veterinary Association President, Caroline Robertson said Mr Ward’s extensive leadership and business experience in the New Zealand food and agricultural sectors during the past 20 years would be highly valuable as the association built...

Man jailed for bobby calf abuse after sentence appealed

 [7 November/ Radio NZ] Waikato Farmer, Noel Erickson has had his sentence of home detention dropped and replaced with jail time after the Ministry for Primary Industries appealed the original sentencing decision. Mr Erickson was originally sentenced to 10 months home detention and 200 hours of community work by the Huntly District Court. The charges...

Call for animal welfare watchdog after ‘sickening’ comments on dairy farming Facebook page

 [7 November/ Business Day: NZ Farmer] Animal rights supporters have called for an independent watchdog to take over animal welfare responsibilities from the Ministry for Primary Industries after more allegations of farm animal abuse. Supporters said comments made by members of a dairy farming Facebook group about how to stop a cow from kicking were...

Video outrage shows ‘disconnectedness’ with farming life

 [26 October/ Radio NZ] The Ministry for Primary Industries has started an investigation into the video from Farmwatch which showed bobby calves being thrown into trucks on their backs and dragged by their limbs. A Farmwatch representative said the abuse of bobby calves was common in the dairy industry. Federated Farmers Dairy Chairman, Andrew Hoggard...

Rodeos ‘animal abuse for entertainment’ – SAFE

[22 October/ Radio NZ] SAFE Campaigns Officer, Marianne MacDonald said people should not attend rodeo events this season as it was cruel to the animals. Ms MacDonald added that calf roping and the use of flank straps, which made horses and bulls kick, was especially cruel. Ms MacDonald explained that if people did not go...

Vegan blogger Kristin Lajeunesse breaks down at the sight of sheep in trucks on Cook Strait ferry

 [7 October/ Business Day: NZ Farmer] Vegan Travel Blogger, Kristin Lajeunesse said she was left in tears after seeing sheep on an Interisland ferry. Ms Lajeunesse said it had been the most overwhelming and negative thing she had ever experienced. A spokesman for Gordon Transport, the firm filmed transporting the sheep, said nothing was unusual...

Police no closer to solving stolen stock mystery

 [2 September/ Radio NZ Rural] Mid-Canterbury Farmer, Willy Leferink said there was increasing worry about how to protect stock after police said they were no closer to finding out how 500 cows, worth $800,000, were stolen from an Ashburton farm. Mr Leferink added that many farmers had begun padlocking gates and securing fences. Mr Leferink...

Bobby calf improvements noted this season

[25 August/ Ministry for Primary Industries Media Release] Ministry for Primary Industries Verification Services Director, Chris Kebbell said he had seen and heard of improvements in bobby calf welfare across the supply chain. Mr Kebbell added that a majority of people were following the rules, but a few people still needed to change their practices...

Shoppers buying blue tick food know animals had a good life

 [1 August/ Business Day: NZ Farmer] SPCA Blue Tick Ambassador, Ray McVinnie said an increasing number of consumers wanted to know where their food had come from and that the animals enjoyed a good life before their slaughter. Mr McVinnie added that the only way for consumers to be sure of this was to only...

Home detention for calf abuse

 [28 July/ Business Day: NZ Farmer] Slaughterhouse Worker, Noel Piraka Erickson has been sentenced to ten months home detention and 200 hours of community work after being accused of horrific abuse of bobby calves. Camera footage showed Mr Erickson hanging a calf up on a hook before it was fully dead, killing calves in a...

Bobby calf regulations in time for calving

[30 January/ NZ Herald] Regulations regarding the care of bobby calves would be in place by 1 August, allowing the Ministry for Primary Industries to hold farmers, transporters and meat processors accountable by issuing infringement notices and fines. The regulations covered the care of calves that were under the age of 14 days and permanently...

Federated Farmers hit out at ‘pathetic’ tactics from animal rights activists

[23 June/ Business Day: NZ Farmer] Federated Farmers Dairy Chairman, Andrew Hoggard said the actions of Starfish Bobby Calf Rescue were pathetic after the group bought a calf online and then arrived at the farmer’s property with a camera to film it being collected. The farmer was uncomfortable with the filming but allowed the calf...