Home' Northern Outlook : May 18th 2013 Contents 5
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Animal welfare strategy welcomed
INDUSTRY BODY DairyNZ is
welcoming the New Zealand
Animal Welfare Strategy released
by the Minister of Primary
Industries, Nathan Guy.
DairyNZ’s strategy and
investment leader for sustain-
ability Dr Rick Pridmore, said
New Zealand’s dairy farmers took
animal welfare matters seriously
and it was useful to have an over-
arching strategy for guiding how
the country cared for animals.
‘‘Animal welfare is one of the
dairy industry’s 10 objectives in
the newly refreshed Strategy for
Sustainable Dairy Farming.
‘‘We’re committed to farming to
high standards of animal health
‘‘As the Minister points out,
New Zealand has a world-leading
reputation for animal welfare and
we need to recognise and protect
that as it is a vital part of
continuing our success as an
export industry,’’ he said.
Dr Pridmore said DairyNZ was
comfortable with much of the
proposed national strategy.
‘‘We support a move toward
greater enforcement of the
standards in the codes of
welfare...Sowewill work with
the Ministry for Primary
Industries taking the route of
providing greater regulatory and
legislative backing to these
‘‘The body that guides the
development of these standards is
called the National Animal
Welfare Advisory Committee and
is set up to provide independent
advice to the Minister for Primary
Industries,’’ he said.
‘‘Its members are vets, various
animal ethical experts and
scientists with expertise,
knowledge and experience.
‘‘It’s vital that farmers are
involved in the development of
animal welfare standards to
ensure they are practical and able
to be readily implemented on the
Zeestratens fined $35,000
NEGLECTED: Ramon and Wilma
Zeestraten were fined thousands of
dollars for animal neglect.
TWO SOUTHLAND companies
have been fined thousands of
dollars after they admitted a raft
of animal neglect charges.
Zeestock Holdings, owned by
Ramon Zeestraten, and Southern
Friesians, owned by Wilma
Zeestraten, were sentenced by
Judge Phil Moran in the
Invercargill District Court on
charges relating to failing to
ensure the physical health and
behavioural needs of cows.
Zeestock Holdings was fined a
total of $20,000, and ordered to
pay $13,578 towards the MAF
(now Ministry for Primary
Industries) costs, as well as $5000
in solicitors’ costs.
Southern Friesians was deemed
by Judge Moran to be less
culpable on some of the offending,
so was fined $15,000 and ordered
to pay $10,000 towards costs.
Both Zeestratens were also
individually charged but were
discharged by Judge Moran after
their respective companies’ fines
were handed down.
The offending related to 67
cows, including two ‘‘downer’’ cows
that could not stand, 26 that were
very lame, and a further 39
assessed as needing treatment.
Some had to be put down after
a MAF inspection in April 2010.
Prosecutor Sarah McKenzie
said as well as the lame cows,
some yards and lanes on the
property were in poor condition,
some of the herd had to walk a
long way to a milking shed after a
closer shed broke down and
repairs could not be financed, and
cows also had to walk through
effluent in an underpass.
Defence lawyer James Rapley
said his clients genuinely cared
for their animals and had taken
steps to address some problems,
but the steps weren’t enough.
‘‘These animals were getting
attention but they needed more,’’
The ‘‘downer’’ cows had been
placed in a calving shed and given
feed, water and grass, and a hoof
trimmer had been contacted for
other cows, but had been too busy
to be able to visit, he said.
They had learned from their
mistakes, he said.
‘‘They have changed their
procedures...they have finished
a new three-year plan...andput
procedures in place so it doesn’t
happen again,’’ he said.
‘‘They are embarrassed and
ashamed about it and
disappointed and upset at
‘‘These are farmers that do care
about their animals,’’ he said.
Judge Moran said Ramon
Zeestraten was a qualified,
talented young man well-versed in
the dairy industry and his mother
was also held in extremely high
regard in the industry.
He accepted steps had been
taken to try to deal with issues.
‘‘But the steps, of course, were
says Nelson’s great
white butterfly is a
serious threat to
ALARMED AT the potential
devastation to commercial and
feed crops, Federated Farmers
has joined the push to stamp out
Nelson’s great white butterfly
Nelson Federated Farmers
president Gavin O’Donnell said
the threat was serious and every
pastoral farmer in the region
could be hit.
Since the first voracious
caterpillars turned up three years
the city, in
and on the
said he realised what a really
significant threat to pastoral
agriculture this pest could be.
He has alerted Federated
Farmers’ national headquarters
and a warning has gone to all
Brassicas such as rape, kale
and turnips were an important
part of feed for farmers trying to
fatten stock, O’Donnell said.
Tasman-based Vegetables New
Zealand director Mark O’Connor
has said that crops worth about
$80 million a year were at risk.
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