Fish & Game welcome intensive agriculture leadership's winter grazing campaign

  • 28/06/2019

Fish & Game New Zealand welcomes the pre-emptive media campaign by Beef + Lamb, DairyNZ and Federated Farmers in anticipation of photos of some farmers behaving badly this winter. The campaign is trying to point to them being a minority, with Beef + Lamb asking for good pictures.

"Last year, Fish & Game revealed some dairy cattle being kept belly deep in mud and rivers being polluted by sediment runoff from intensive winter feeding of paddocks," Fish & Game New Zealand Chief Executive Martin Taylor says.

"We saw a massive groundswell of opinion against these practices from environmental groups, vets, good farmers and the public.

"We called for the intensive agriculture industry to take a tougher line.

"This increasing public concern has hurt the agriculture leaders. That's why Beef + Lamb, DairyNZ and Federated Farmers have been forced to adopt a defensive media strategy this winter.

"We welcome the leadership that is now being shown by Beef + Lamb, DairyNZ and Federated Farmers."

The intensive agriculture leaders noted in their press release 'Done correctly, winter grazing is an effective way to keep animals fed and healthy over winter.'

"However, they forgot to add that winter break feeding done incorrectly is the single most devastating farming practice on the environment, contributing to the collapse of ecosystems such as the New River Estuary in Southland.

"Dairy NZ has excellent guidelines that would greatly improve the situation and reduce environmental degradation currently being caused, but only if they are adopted.

"It is time that the intensive agriculture leadership step up and call for these guidelines to be made compulsory in regional councils plans.

"If Beef + Lamb, DairyNZ and Federated Farmers are unable to do this, it shows that they believe some farmers still need the flexibility to pollute the environment if it doesn't suit them to adopt these simple guidelines.

"Farming's bad performers can no longer continue severely damaging our rivers, lakes and streams, taking away Kiwis’ ability to enjoy their waterways to swim, fish and gather food."

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