DairyNZ strategy and investment portfolio manager Jenny Jago says the new regulations are a positive move.
“New Zealand is already recognised as having a strong reputation for animal welfare and these regulations will further strengthen the framework that underpins this,” says Jenny.
“We support regulations which benefit animal welfare outcomes. Cows and people are the heart of every farming business and the majority of dairy farmers take real pride in their herd’s care and how farming practices are undertaken on-farm.
“Many dairy farmers are meeting these regulations now and it is positive that standards have been set so, as a sector, we all meet high standards of animal welfare.
“DairyNZ has worked closely with MPI to ensure the new regulations will enhance New Zealand’s reputation for good animal welfare and this aligns with the Dairy Tomorrow aim for New Zealand farmers to be world leading in on-farm animal care.”
The significant proposed regulations relating to cattle include:
- Stock transport – animals with ingrown horns or horn injuries, lame animals, animals with injured or diseased udders, and with advanced cancer eye, will not be acceptable for transport unless a veterinarian has provided a certificate.
- Tail docking – a person must not shorten or remove the tail of any cattle beast.
- Castration – when castrating or shortening the scrotum of a bull over the age of six months, pain relief must be used (for any method of castration). If high tension bands are used to castrate an animal, local anaesthetic must be used to provide pain relief (at any age).
- Disbudding – pain relief required at all ages.
- Dehorning – pain relief required at all ages.
- Assisting calving cows – no use of traction with a moving vehicle, motorised winch or any other device that does not allow for the quick release of tension for the purposes of calving cows.
- Other regulations – not owning cattle with ingrown horns, prohibited methods of milk stimulation, a minimum weight for the use of electric prodders, approved methods of castration.
Most of the regulations come into force on 1 October 2018, except for pain relief requirements for disbudding and dehorning cattle which come into effect on 1 October 2019.
Farmers can find out more information about the new regulations and the related fines and regulatory offence information at www.mpi.govt.nz.
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