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RMA Threatens Calf Rearing In The Waikato


12 June 2001 PR 82/01


Waikato District Council's refusal to grant a retrospective resource consent application to a Waikato farming family for the purpose of housing calves and the operation of a nursery, means they will have to remove the structures and cease calf rearing.

"The decision by Council to rule that the calf rearing operation is 'factory farming' has huge implications for all dairy and beef farming operations in the Waikato District" said Waikato Federated Farmers President John Vincent. "Again, the implementation of the Resource Management Act has caused a business to shut down."

Council refused consent on the basis that calf rearing in the Waikato District Plan is classified as 'factory farming' and because the activity is located on a 'high quality soil'. Ironically, Council accepted that the environmental effects that were of concern to the opposing parties could be satisfactorily controlled.

"The decision sets a huge precedent in a region that is highly dependent on dairy and beef farming. The rearing of all calves in sheds is now ruled to be a non complying activity and therefore requires a resource consent. If calf rearing cannot occur in the rural zone of a district that is recognised as the heart of the dairy industry, where can it occur?"

Waikato Federated Farmers believes that it wasn't the intention of Council to incorporate any operation involving the housing or supplementary feeding of animals such as calf rearing or horse breeding into the definition of factory farming. Waikato Federated Farmers will fight for Council to change the definition of factory farming to exclude such operations. "The Waikato District Plan must be amended urgently" said John Vincent.


For more information: John Vincent 025-277-8464 Sally Millar 07-838-2589

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