19 Feb 2010

New dairy cattle welfare code issued

12:57 pm on 19 February 2010

A new code of animal welfare for dealing with dairy cattle has been launched by Agriculture Minister David Carter.

The 38-page booklet replaces an earlier four-page guideline.

It covers all areas of dairy cattle management, from stockmanship and husbandry practices, to issues such as shade, shelter and health.

The compulsory code now gives teeth to policing any breaches by farmers and lays down minimum standards.

Mr Carter says the code is directed at the minority of farmers who let the industry down. He says those who don't comply can be prosecuted under the Animal Welfare Act.

Federated Farmers says it welcomes the new code.

However, one area not covered in the code is the long-term or permanent housing of dairy cattle, as proposed in the Upper Waitaki region.

Mr Carter has asked the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee to develop a separate policy on this.