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Animal Cruelty Has No Place In The Dairy Industry


22 February 2013

Animal Cruelty Has No Place In The Dairy Industry

Following recent court cases, Federated Farmers, industry body DairyNZ and the New Zealand Veterinary Association have taken a strong stance against animal cruelty on farms.

“Breaking tails is indefensible animal cruelty and the scale of the recent West Coast case is mind boggling,” says Katie Milne, Federated Farmers West Coast provincial president and a dairy farmer herself.

"I speak for all farmers when I say that we find this crime despicable.

"There is absolutely no way this action can be defended. All the science shows that stressed milking cows produce considerably less milk than contented cows. They also become harder to handle, for pretty obvious reasons.

"Animal cruelty has no place in farming or in society and the penalty imposed helps to underline that," Katie Milne concluded.

The New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) applauds the decision by MPI to take this case to court. NZVA Dairy Cattle Society President, Dr. Neil MacPherson, says it demonstrates the commitment by all dairy stakeholders to prevent animals suffering unnecessary pain and distress in the future.

“Banning this man from owning cows for five years sends a strong message to those who treat animals cruelly.”

DairyNZ’s strategy and investment leader for sustainability, Rick Pridmore, says the dairy industry does not condone anything but the best care of our animals.

“Our surveys and research show that the vast majority of dairy farmers treat their animals to high standards, going beyond the minimum requirements established in the Animal Welfare Act,” he says.

DairyNZ’s team leader for animal husbandry and welfare, Nita Harding, says the key to managing cows is to work with them, not against them.

“Going into the farm dairy is a routine procedure and cows will easily comply if they are treated well. It’s all about understanding how a cow interprets the world around her and then managing her appropriately,” says Nita.

“We encourage farmers to access resources and attend the events we run to help them with stockmanship. They can get tips about handling cows and making the routine procedures on farm less stressful for animals and staff. This ultimately leads to more content cows, happier staff and higher milk production,” Nita Harding finished by saying.

For challenging situations, DairyNZ has an Early Response Service, offering farmers confidential support where animal welfare may be at risk. This service has been successful in helping farmers manage their animals and farm to get back on track.

Farmers looking for any support can contact DairyNZ 0800 4 DairyNZ (0800 4 324 7969).


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