7 Dec 2015

Dairy groups vow to stamp out mistreatment

4:57 pm on 7 December 2015

Seven dairy industry associations have joined the Ministry for Primary Industries in planning a strategy to eradicate the mistreatment of bobby calves.

Jersey calves

Jersey calves Photo: 123RF

The announcement follows a video released by animal welfare groups showing bobby calves being mistreated.

On Saturday, an advertisment placed by the animal welfare organisation SAFE appeared in the British newspaper The Guardian, condemning New Zealand's dairy industry as "contaminated by cruelty" for its treatment of calves.

DairyNZ, the Meat Industry Association, Federated Farmers, the Road Transport Forum, the Petfood Manufacturers Association, the Dairy Companies Association, the Veterinary Association, and the Ministry for Primary Industries have all made a joint commitment to stamp out mistreatment.

DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle said the organisations and their members would work together and individually to develop measures to ensure poor practice was eradicated in the industry.

"Resolving these issues will depend, not on words, but on actions.

"We are committed to working with everyone in the supply chain to ensure bobby calves are well cared for.

"We have ensured good practice advice is available to all dairy farmers and that they have forums available where they can share their own good management practices with others.

"It is about looking at our supply chain and ensuring bobby calves are well cared for right throughout.

"There has been a lot of work going on to date anyway between the groups on how we can improve, not just welfare of bobby calves, but all of the animals we farm."

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