22 Feb 2016

Stock water exclusion deadline 'can be met'

4:03 pm on 22 February 2016

A proposal to exclude some stock from waterways by July next year is achievable, say farming industry bodies, and many farmers are well on the way to fencing them off.

Cattle in Matukituki Valley

Cattle in Matukituki Valley Photo: SUPPLIED

The government has taken the next step to enforce the exclusion of dairy cattle and pigs from waterways by July next year and is now asking the public to have a say.

It will start with dairy and pig farms by 2017, dairy grazing by 2025 and all beef and deer by 2030.

Waterways include streams, rivers, lakes, and wetlands or permanently flowing waterways and drains greater than one metre wide and 30 centimetres deep.

If stock are found in waterways, the proposal suggests an instant fine of $100 per animal and up to a maximum of $2000.

It also said the national regulations would supersede councils' rules to give national consistency.

New Zealand Pork chairman Ian Carter said the 100 commercial pig farms around the country could easily meet these requirements.

"We don't believe it's an issue. There are some old river beds and that's probably the biggest grey area from any livestock farmer as to what's categorically deemed a water course. Has it got water all year round or has it been a water course at some stage?"

DairyNZ is also confident the proposed timeline is reasonable.

Public submissions close on 22 April.

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