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SAFE appalled by Government's proposed RMA reforms

SAFE is expressing deep concern over the Government's proposed amendments to the Resource Management Act (RMA), particularly the repeal of all regulations on intensive winter grazing (also known as mud farming).

The proposed reforms, announced by the Government yesterday, seek to remove existing regulations on mud farming, a move that SAFE condemns as both reckless and harmful.

SAFE Campaign Manager, Emma Brodie, says mud farming, already recognised as one of the most inhumane and environmentally damaging farming practices in Aotearoa, subjects animals to unacceptable conditions, including confinement in outdoor areas that quickly deteriorate to mud during inclement weather.

"This is a reckless piece of legislation that prioritises profit over the well-being of animals and the health of our fragile environment."

As evidenced by footage recorded in 2023, mud farming operations often result in animals enduring unimaginable suffering, including birthing in mud, dehydration, malnutrition, thermal stress, injury, and even death.

Moreover, the practice contributes to severe soil compaction and degradation, leading to increased contamination of waterways and detrimental effects on biodiversity and freshwater quality.

"The importance of upholding current regulations, which require some mud farming operations to obtain resource consent to mitigate adverse effects on soil health and water quality, cannot be understated," says Brodie.

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"These regulations provide a vital pathway for experts, advocacy groups, and the public to voice concerns on animal welfare and environmental impacts."

"We urge the government to maintain mud farming regulations to uphold our country's commitment to sustainability and ethical farming practices."

The proposed changes are expected to be introduced to Parliament next month and passed into law before the end of the year.

© Scoop Media

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