Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: SAFE NZ
New footage released by SAFE today shows a cow in labour in a mud-filled paddock and another who has recently given birth. Other cows and their young calves were filmed, as well as one cow with what appears to be her dead calf.
The footage and photos were taken from the roadside adjacent to five farms near Lumsden and Mossburn, in Southland, between 31 July and 8 August 2020.
SAFE Campaigns Manager Marianne Macdonald says animals should never be forced to stand and give birth in mud.
“The reality on farms is that animals continue to suffer in muddy fields with no access to dry areas, due to intensive winter grazing practices.”
Macdonald says despite Environment Southland’s repeated claims that winter grazing practices have improved, images like these continue to emerge.
“It’s appalling that cows and their vulnerable young calves are being kept in these conditions. This clearly breaches the Animal Welfare Act 1999, which states animals must be provided with adequate shelter.”
Referring to the images and footage of winter grazing that emerged last year, Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor said at SAFE’s recent Political Panel for Animals that the kinds of winter grazing scenes seen last year cannot be repeated. He repeated this statement yesterday on Newstalk ZB.
SAFE agrees with the Minister’s statements, and says he should take action by banning intensive winter grazing.
SAFE is New Zealand’s leading animal rights organisation.
We’re creating a future that ensures the rights of animals are respected. Our core work empowers society to make kinder choices for ourselves, animals and our planet.
[The photos and footage contain disturbing content.]
– Video footage showing cows in muddy fields with no access to dry areas or shelter, some with their calves, others in labour.
– Photos showing cows in muddy fields, with no access to dry areas or shelter, some with their calves, others in labour.
– 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. Calves born in muddy conditions also have their welfare put at risk, as their low body mass makes them vulnerable to suffering in the cold and wet.
– SAFE wants a ban on intensive winter grazing, a practice where animals are confined to a small section of land which can be grazed down to bare mud, and where pregnant animals are forced to give birth without access to dry areas or shelter.
– The New Zealand Veterinary Association’s (NZVA) statement on winter grazing says that the practice should only be undertaken when the welfare of the 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.