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Minister announces members of winter grazing taskforce

Agriculture Minister announces members of winter grazing taskforce

Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced the members of the newly established taskforce to respond to the animal welfare issues associated with the practice of winter grazing.

The 10 members are:

· Independent Chair: Dr John Hellstrom, ONZM

· Dr Arnja Dale, Chief Scientific Adviser, SPCA

· Dr Helen Beattie, Chief Veterinary Officer, NZ Veterinary Association

· Dr Stephen Hopkinson, dairy cattle vet & NZ Veterinary Association

· Angus Robson, environment campaigner

· Dr Ross Monaghan, Senior Scientist, AgResearch

· Elaine Cook, Dairy NZ

· Dave Harrison, Beef+Lamb NZ

· Ewen Mathieson, dairy farmer, Southland

· Pania King, sheep & beef farmer, Gisborne

“My expectation of this group is to do a stocktake of the multiple initiatives that are already underway to promote good winter grazing practices and identify why these are not currently working for all. Then we need to come up with actions as to how we can get farmers where they should be.

“The taskforce will draw on advice and expertise from various groups and individuals across the country who can inform and challenge the taskforce’s thinking”.

The group will provide an initial report back to the Minister by the end of August and will work on a plan of action by the end of September.

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