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Effluent Code Takes The Bull By The Horns



18 JUNE 1999

Food and Fibre Minister John Luxton today welcomed an Industry Code of Practice for reducing stock effluent of roads when he officially launched the new code at the Morrinsville Saleyards.

"The problem of effluent spilling onto roads has been with us ever since the first stock travelled by truck. With 4.2 million dairy cattle not to mention 4.8 million beef cattle, the problem was such that something needed to be done."

Federated Farmers, Transit New Zealand, the Road Transport Forum, the Meat Industry Association and the New Zealand Stock and Station Agents Association have developed the Industry Code of Practice for the Minimisation of Stock Effluent Spillage from Trucks on Roads, under the ageis of the National Stock Effluent Working Group.

"The working group is to be congratulated for taking the bull by the horns. This Code is both realistic and achievable. Instead of going through the usual legislative motions, the intention is to have voluntary and co-operative industry management of the issue. The Code clearly includes responsibilities for all the parties involved in moving stock, as well as the regulatory authorities."

"Effluent on roads is a big issue for rural towns and it's very unpleasant for those drivers who are travelling behind stock trucks. It muddies our clean green image, and what some of our overseas tourists for big cities must think when they have close encounters from stock trucks is hard to imagine. No doubt they manage to mutter something appropriate!"

It has been reliably calculated that standing stock reduces the amount of effluent by up to two-thirds. Farmers need to stand their stock from four to eight hours, before they are transported. This relatively simple measure which involves only a small amount of planning, can lead to a significant reduction in the effluent that will be collected by trucks while transporting the stock.

"As a farmer I'm pleased to know that not only will my stock travel better after being stood but that there will be minimal weight loss and they will be much cleaner when they arrive. This important document will improve the practices and perceptions of our vital agricultural industry," Mr Luxton concluded.

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