18 Mar 2014

Slaughter method to change

2:37 pm on 18 March 2014

Feedback is being called for on suggested changes to animal welfare regulations which would stop farmers routinely using blunt force trauma to kill bobby calves.

The National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee is proposing changes to the welfare regulations for dairy cattle and is seeking public submissions.

The changes would mean farmers could bludgeon newborn calves only in emergencies.

In February, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy asked officials to look at changing the rules after grotesque images of bashed dead bobby calves on a New Zealand-owned farm in Chile were made public.

An animal rights activist says it's sad the proposed changes are being driven by concern for the country's trading reputation and not out of concern for the calves.

Executive director of the animal welfare group SAFE, Hans Kriek, says while he's not impressed with the motivation for the proposed changes, they're long overdue.

Submissions close on 1 May.