Animal welfare case guilty plea welcomed

Thursday 9 May 2013, 2:30PM
By Federated Farmers of New Zealand

Federated Farmers believes Milkpride admitting guilt in Rotorua today sends a strong deterrent message.

“With sentencing yet to be passed we are pretty much limited to what we can say,” says Willy Leferink, Federated Farmers Dairy chairperson.

“Farmers like me were troubled by what we saw and the public deserve to know it is not representative of dairy farming.  In this case, farming was both on trial but farming was also part of the prosecution.

“I wish to acknowledge the work of DairyNZ’s early intervention team, Federated Farmers members and the Ministry for Primary Industries itself.

“New Zealand has strong laws on animal welfare.  We don’t pay lip service to it and it is central to good farm management.  This was also reinforced yesterday by the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill being introduced into Parliament.
“The guilty plea to a representative charge will now save the taxpayer the expense of a longer trial.

“A happy cow is a good producer so maltreating them not only destroys value, it hits production.

“That’s why farmers know that good animal welfare is good for business, just as bad animal welfare is self-destructive,” Mr Leferink concluded.