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Animal cruelty has no place in the dairy industry

25 July 2013

Animal cruelty has no place in the dairy industry

Federated Farmers, DairyNZ and the New Zealand Veterinary Association, takes a strong stance against animal cruelty on-farms and breaking tails is unacceptable stockmanship.

“As a farmer it saddens me to hear these animal welfare charges because it goes against the very nature of a person working with animals.

“Mr Beaumont broke 40 tails out of the 200 cattle he harmed, goes against the very nature of a person who works with animals. It is indefensible, and he has let the industry down by letting his anger get the better of him,” says Chris Lewis, Waikato Dairy chairperson.

“It is truly encouraging to see the farm employer has acted promptly, including written warnings and ultimately reporting him to the authorities. Identifying any situation of animal welfare is at risk early is the key to preventing cases like this.

“Employers need to have their eye on the ball and make it clear they don’t tolerate this type of behaviour, as what happened here.

“Cows are particularly moody at this time of the year, after being separated from their calves and when the young ones experience their first milking. However, employers need to remind staff of the proper way to handle cows in these situations, so she doesn’t present a danger to herself or the staff.

“If a farmer feels like they are going to loose their cool, they need to walk away or get a senior person to take control.” Mr Lewis concluded.

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.”

The New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) applauds the decision by the SPCA to take this case to court. NZVA Dairy Cattle Society President, Dr. Neil MacPherson, says banning this man from working with animals will send a strong message to those who treat animals cruelly.

Mr Beaumont will appear in front of the Hamilton District Court for sentencing on 2 September, where the authorities are seeking to have him banned from owning or working with animals for no less than 20 years.

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).

ends

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