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Calf is trampled in trailer

19 November 2018

MPI fails to take action to protect animal welfare, as calf is trampled in trailer

At the weekend, a member of the public and her family witnessed and filmed a trailer of calves with one being trampled by the other animals.

She called animal charity SAFE who advised her to call the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). SAFE followed up with the MPI inspector directly, who did not sound capable of tracking the vehicle. In a desperate effort to eliminate the suffering of the calves, SAFE called the police who tried to track the vehicle but were unsuccessful even with the car registration number.

SAFE is disappointed at MPI’s inability to action on this cruelty as soon as it was reported, says SAFE Head of Campaigns Marianne Macdonald.

“It is MPI’s job to investigate animal welfare complaints. However, here we have a case where a vulnerable young calf is being trampled and nothing is done. The inspector’s lack of willingness to take urgent action, exemplifies the broken system that we have in New Zealand that is failing to protect farmed animals.”

This is the latest in a series of examples of MPI’s failure to protect animals. Last month a British tourist was very concerned when he saw and filmed a cow being held for hours in hip clamps in the Franz Josef region. When MPI was contacted, they said they could not investigate because they only have 23 inspectors, and the closest was in Christchurch.

“Time and time again it’s left up to members of the public or volunteer investigators to investigate lawbreaking on farms and highlight cases of neglect, or in this case lack of care, rather than the Government agency whose job it is to protect animals.”

“SAFE is calling for MPI to be stripped of its animal welfare responsibilities and for an independent agency to be set up with the powers and funding to enable it to effectively enforce our animal welfare laws and take urgent action in cases like this where animals are suffering. It’s time for the Government to make animal protection a priority.”

Notes for Editor

Raw footage of calf being trampled.

The Code of Welfare for Transport says that animal just be inspected regularly for injury or signs of pain or distress. It is unclear how long these calves had been on the road, so the treatment did not necessarily break the Code of Welfare - Transport within New Zealand
which states:

Minimum standard 9 – monitoring animals during transport

a. Animals must be inspected for injury or signs of pain or distress at regular intervals during the journey, including at rest breaks taken by the operator of the conveyance and at refuelling stops.
b. Animals found to have fallen down, to be injured, distressed or with a limb protruding from the container or conveyance, must be assisted, treated or euthanased as soon as practicable.
c. The time and place of inspection, and any deaths and incidents causing pain or distress to animals, must be recorded.


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