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Updated dairy cattle code of welfare to include calves

Updated dairy cattle code of welfare to include calf management

Federated Farmers welcomes the consultation process announced by NAWAC late last week, as it updates the Animal Welfare (Dairy Cattle) Code of Welfare.

“There has been a lot of media coverage recently of calves being slaughtered in Chile,” says Willy Leferink, Federated Farmers Dairy Chairperson.

“Federated Farmers agrees with most New Zealanders that this sort of behaviour does not belong on New Zealand farms.

“The Animal Welfare (Dairy Cattle) Code of Welfare had been silent on the routine euthanisation of calves on-farm. We are pleased that the proposed changes now emphasise that it is a skilled procedure to euthanise calves quickly and humanely.

“Be in no doubt that it does take skill. It is definitely not something to be left to an untrained farm worker.

“We are also pleased that NAWAC has recognised that emergencies do happen on farm, where sick or injured stock need to be put out of their misery.

“Often in these circumstances the quickest and kindest act is to use blunt force because approved means, such as a captive bolt gun or firearm, may be an hour away. Very few farmers go out on-farm packing a weapon ‘just in case.’

“The changes recognise that blunt force can be used in this type of emergency and that is a sensible provision,” concluded Mr Leferink.

Federated Farmers will be submitting on these proposed changes and we encourage other farmers to, as well. NAWAC needs to hear from those who deal with this every season.

Ends

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