Penny Timmer-Arends and Amanda Turner from Ministry for Primary Industries provided an overview to members on animal welfare requirements during winter grazing.
New Zealand’s animal welfare legislation, the Animal Welfare Act 1999, requires people who are responsible for animals to ensure that their animals’ physical, health and behavioural needs are met, and that any pain or distress being suffered by ill or injured animals under their care is alleviated.
Some of the welfare risks associated with winter grazing are:
- health issues if the transition from grass to crop is not managed correctly
- cold stress
- inability to lie for sufficient periods if the surface becomes too wet
MPI Compliance officers respond to animal welfare complaints, assess the welfare of animals and will determine the appropriate intervention on a case-by-case basis. Often welfare complaints can be resolved through education however MPI will prosecute the more severe cases.
See www.mpi.govt.nz/wintering for further information.
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