Submissions

Submission regarding the proposed Code of Welfare for Dairy Cattle:

Submission Deadline : 30th June 2022

Copy the below and email your submission to:
animal.consult@mpi.govt.nz

We/I would like to submit the following with regards to the proposed Code of Welfare for Dairy Cattle:

We/I are in full support that the use of electric devices to manage animal behaviour is curtailed. Giving electric shocks to sentient beings is not humane. No matter what the purpose is, there are other ways of doing things without resorting to electric shocks. Even for the purpose of ejaculation of bull semen. We could let nature take its course. Farms can be managed so that the appropriate bull can get in with the cows.

The use of a Body Condition Score is inherently inhumane and reduces animals to mere numbers in the system, rather than individuals with wants and needs. Any increase in the score is welcome however. No animal in care should be allowed to have a BCS that is so low they are too sick to transport to their death!

We/I would further submit that anyone found guilty of owning cows with BCS less than 3.5 should be prosecuted for mistreatment under the current Animal Welfare Act.

There is no longer a future for the dairy industry, we should be moving towards producing food and fibre from plants. Animal agriculture is a very wasteful use of resources such as land and water.

It pollutes our waterways and produces unacceptably high emissions and for this reason needs to be phased out. If such upgrades to animal welfare make dairying no longer a profitable industry, then the industry should change.

As New Zealand has always done, adapting to the times. The time to transition towards plant-based farming is nigh. It has already been postulated that the cost of environmental clean up after the dairy industry is equal to at least half, if not all the profits.

We/I support the improvements suggested to Intensive Winter Grazing. Further we/I submit that many countries winter their livestock indoors, No mud farming required. No one would be born onto mud, or surface water.

The idea that animals are less than humans and deserve less than humans is outdated. There is a new paradigm coming and NZ needs to be ahead of the game, not falling below it.

In the UK there are cow mattresses that can be used for bedding in place of straw. This has to be a better option than river stones or mud. They are transportable, so would be ideal for lying off areas.We/I submit our/my support in regards to the changes to Shelter.

It’s completely unacceptable that in the heat of summer many animals have no respite from the sun, in fierce storms they are subjected to the brunt of wind and rain.

Many pastures have no tree shelter and animals are left to survive or die. Again this is not the way to treat sentient beings who are required by law, to have their needs for shelter met under the current codes of animal welfare.

We/I submit our/my support with regards to Emerging Technologies. Animals must be treated fairly and with dignity and respect.

However we do not believe that animals are properly protected by future technologies in the new proposals. We do not know what the future holds. The desire for profit will always be above the concern for animal welfare and therein lies the problem.

Transitioning to a plant-based economy would alleviate all these problems. We/I are in support of the increased standards with regards to Calf Rearing. We/I note that farmers could just leave the calves they want to keep with their mothers for the first few weeks.

The whole industry is built on the suffering of animals. There is no mention of the emotional welfare of calves or their mothers within this code. This is actually very central to the idea of sentience.

We cannot have a Code of Welfare for Sentient Beings that completely ignores their emotional well being. New Zealand has agreed that cows are sentient beings, therefore they must be treated as such.

Finally and most importantly we/I submit that allowing farmers to self-assess their own welfare practices is inherently flawed and will lead to a potential for ill treatment to go unnoticed.

It is our/my suggestion that more animal welfare officers are recruited and that there is an independent Animal Welfare Commissioner set up. This would alleviate Animal Welfare out of the hands of the MPI, whose interests are conflicted.