Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: SAFE NZ
Photos shot by a Fiordland resident in early June show cows in mud-filled paddocks with no shelter. A complaint was made to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), which failed to take any action after visiting the farm.
Two weeks later, new photos taken at the same location again showed cows in muddy conditions.
SAFE Campaign Manager Marianne Macdonald says, “This is an outrageous failure on MPI’s part and we demand that they do more to protect these animals.”
“Every year, we hear the same story from the dairy industry. Yet it is the cows that suffer in these conditions.”
“Cows kept in muddy paddocks are unable to rest comfortably and are at risk of painful health problems such as mastitis and lameness,” says Macdonald.
Macdonald says a separate crown entity should be established with the sole function of ensuring adherence to New Zealand’s animal welfare laws.
In 2019, a Government Action Group was established to look at animal-welfare problems associated with winter grazing. A set of rules was created for MPI inspectors to follow when they received complaints. The conditions revealed in these photos from Fiordland are likely a breach of those rules.
SAFE is New Zealand’s leading animal rights organisation.
We’re working towards a world where animals are understood and respected in such a way that they are no longer exploited, abused or made to suffer.
– A Fiordland resident took the first set of photos of cows standing in a muddy paddock on 7 June 2020. A complaint was made to MPI, who visited the farm on 10 June and told the complainant that they would be taking no action. Further photos were taken on 17 June 2020, showing cows standing in the same conditions.
– The New Zealand Veterinary Association’s (NZVA) statement on winter grazing says that it should only be undertaken when the welfare of animals can be protected. This means meeting the requirements of section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 1999, and other relevant legislation. Section 4 includes the requirement that ‘proper shelter’ be provided.
– When cows are kept in wet and muddy conditions, welfare issues that may result include poor hoof health, contributing to claw lesions and lameness; inability to properly rest and ruminate; and increased risk of mastitis.