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Welfare Prosecution Sends Message to Farmers

by 5m Editor
15 January 2010, at 6:08a.m.

NEW ZEALAND - The prosecution earlier this week of a farmer who ill-treated livestock sends an important message, says Federated Farmers of New Zealand.

“Farmers have an ethical obligation to treat livestock with respect,” says Lachlan McKenzie, Federated Farmers Dairy chairperson.

“New Zealanders ought to be proud of the very high standard of animal husbandry practiced by a massive majority of Kiwi farmers.

“Given livestock outnumber New Zealand’s human population by at least 10:1, we farmers and farm workers have thousands of hours of interactions with our livestock. It speaks volumes that a prosecution like this is the rare exception.

“Good farmers respect their livestock and any ill treatment is unacceptable.

“Farming is mostly conducted in the open and tens of thousands of cars pass our farms every day. Yes there are proposals for the increased use of winter housing in parts of the country but we also know farmers are watching out for other farmers.

“When things seem off, Federated Farmers is quick to knock on the door to say ‘what’s up mate?’ That’s what we tried in this case.

“When people eschew the help of the wider farming community, it’s important to have these legal sanctions. The welfare of animals becomes the prime driver.

“Given neglect is, thankfully, very rare, we often find there are underlying issues behind neglect and not necessarily, of an economic nature,” Mr McKenzie concluded.