A dairy company owner has criticised the food industry over its silence on animal welfare issues, and says everybody has a responsibility to report ill-treatment.
Joanie Williams told a food futures conference in New Plymouth that last year's scandal over the treatment of bobby-calves should never have been allowed to happen.
Mrs Williams - co-owner of the boutique Hawke's Bay dairy company Origin Earth - told the audience of about 150 industry representatives, politicians and development agency staff that every one of them had a responsibility to report the ill-treatment of animals.
She said tanker drivers, vets, meter readers and sales people went onto farms everyday, but instead it was left to people with a vendetta against the industry to break the story.
Mrs Williams said the New Zealand brand could not afford for livestock to be mistreated.