Animal welfare

DoC orders ‘extraordinary’ independent review into 1080 drop that killed cows

[28 September/The Country] A review has been initiated by the Department of Conservation after a 1080 drop was initiated, resulting in the death of cows. It said the step was to provide public confidence in its operations. Eight cows were found dead following the drop. Two cows were confirmed to have ingested the poison. DoC...

Pet-food firm owner sentenced on animal abuse charges

[20 September/Stuff] Six months’ community detention, 180 hours of community service, and a $90,000 fine were handed down to the owner of a pet food company at the centre of an animal abuse storm. Alan Martyn Cleaver was banned from owning or exercising any authority over animals for five years. Footage of abuse by one...

Tegel won’t be prosecuted over footage of dead and deformed chickens

[10 September/The Country] Footage inside one of Tegel’s farms showing dead and deformed chicken will not result in the company being prosecuted. Advocacy group, Direct Animal Action, captured the footage during two visits to a farm near Hellensville. It found dead chickens, lame chickens, cannibalised chickens, chickens lying down unable to get up, and deformed...

‘Whistle-blowers’ in animal abuse cases need protection – SAFE

[17 August/Radio NZ] SAFE is seeking to have whistle-blowers protected after they lodge animal abuse complaints. It said some farm workers had received death threats due to reporting animal abuse, and they had no confidence in the Ministry for Primary Industries. SAFE’s Chief Executive, Debra Ashton, said whistle-blowers were vital in preventing animal abuse on...

Vets open to pan-industry initiative on grazing

[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...

Scientists question govt’s predator-free by 2050 goal

[16 July/Radio NZ] A campaign to make New Zealand predator free by 2050 has been called expensive, unworkable and unethical by a Victoria University academic. The scheme was introduced by the National led government and focusses on eliminating possums, stoats, and rats. Victoria University Scientist, Wayne Linklater, said it was poorly thought out as the...

Govt could appoint commissioner to improve animal welfare

[3 July/Stuff] A commissioner for animals could be possible when the Government attempts to improve animal welfare. Minister for Animal Welfare, Meka Whaitiri, released the framework for action on animal welfare a day after footage of a farmer abusing cows in a milking shed was made public. Ms Whaitiri said New Zealander’s took animal welfare...

Animal welfare minister ‘disturbed’ by new abuse case

[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...

Hidden footage shows cows abused, hit in milking shed

[28 June/NZ Herald] Footage that showed a Northland farmer violently and repeatedly hitting cows with weapons had been given to the Ministry for Primary Industries who investigated the claims, but the inquiry was dropped due to lack of evidence. Advocacy group, Farmwatch, has subsequently gathered further evidence, which it has now passed to MPI and...

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...