Drought imagery on the New Zealand Herald front page and at page five

Wednesday 13 March 2013, 6:04PM
By Federated Farmers of New Zealand

Federated Farmers is concerned at the photograph on the front-page banner of this morning’s NZ Herald and again at page five. In particular, Federated Farmers is concerned that this is being incorrectly linked to drought.   

We understand from inquiries that the animal shown had suffered a major injury.  A vet had attended and a decision was taken to end its suffering; this was appropriate, humane and has absolutely nothing to do with the current drought. 

Members of Federated Farmers are rightfully concerned the photo is in bad taste and lacks context.

Federated Farmers feels the NZ Herald has made a story fit an image. It wrongly creates the impression there are widespread animal welfare issues when in fact there aren’t.

We have asked the Ministry for Primary Industries and they report the condition of stock coming through for processing is no different now than it was before the various drought declarations.

Farmers are responsibly sending stock away while they are in good condition.  Furthermore, livestock have to meet all animal welfare requirements on the transportation of stock.  For the occasional animal that has suffered a debilitating injury or illness, then humane slaughter on-farm may be appropriate under the animal welfare code.