20 Apr 2015

Farmers get help with welfare changes

5:59 am on 20 April 2015

Animal welfare workshops have started around the country to help bring dairy farmers up to speed with new laws and regulations.

Cows are being bred to tolerate heat.

Photo: Cultura Creative

DairyNZ and the Dairy Women's Network are running the workshops following changes to the animal welfare code and proposed changes to the Animal Welfare Act.

DairyNZ animal welfare team leader Chris Leach said the changes were likely to give the Ministry for Primary Industries greater powers to issue infringement notices and fines, so it was important farmers understood them as they would be held responsible for non-compliance.

He said they would cover the euthanasia of calves, managing cows' tails, ensuring cattle were fit to be transported and animal welfare training techniques for farm staff.

Mr Leach said they were partnering with vets to provide the workshops, as they were the ideal people to deliver them.

"They're really just providing farmers with that underpinning knowledge and understanding of their responsibilities," he said.

"This is not around animal cruelty or abuse in any way, shape or form. Animal welfare is often given a negative connotation. This is about the care of animals, ensuring dairy farmers have an excellent record with regard to the care of animals."

Workshops will be held across the country over the next few months.

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