25 May 2011

Councils brace for complaints during Gypsy Week

1:39 pm on 25 May 2011

The end of May is approaching and for the dairy industry that means Gypsy Week - while for local councils it means complaints.

It's the time of year when dairy herds across the country are on the move as sharemilkers change farms to take up new contracts, coinciding with the end of the milk production season.

It's also the time of year when complaints flow into local councils from motorists upset about the effluent spilled onto roads from stock trucks carrying thousands of cows to their new homes.

Otago Regional Council environmental services manager Martin King says the spills and complaints have already started in that region, but it's avoidable if farmers take basic steps to prepare stock, such as by reducing or changing their feed.

Mr King says truckies can also do their bit by ensuring their effluent storage tanks are emptied and using the effluent disposal sites set up for the purpose. There are seven such sites in the Otago region.