Southland Regional Council has warned the Government that the declining sheep meat industry is undermining New Zealand's economic and environmental future.
And it's asking the Government to show some leadership in halting that decline.
The council's chair, Ali Timms has told the Minister for Primary Industries that if the sheep meat industry wasn't restored to profitability the Government would run into obstacles in meeting its economic growth targets and regional councils would struggle to meet national water quality goals.
She said Southland and many other regions around the country were dealing with water quality issues as a result of increased nitrogen levels from intensive farming, in particular dairying.
Ms Timms said she was not asking the Government to directly intervene, but it needed to show some leadership in helping the less intensive sheep meat industry to become viable again, to reduce that environmental pressure.