New Zealand First supports the changes recommended by the Winter Grazing Taskforce to improve animal welfare outcomes through the winter months, and the establishment of a pan-sector action group to implement them.
New Zealand First Primary Industries Spokesperson Mark Patterson says the report highlights areas of concern about the animal welfare impacts of intensive winter grazing practices, and outlines a forward-thinking approach to help farmers lift standards.
“The report highlights a degree of non-compliance that we cannot afford to have associated with our pastoral sector.
“Our animal welfare credentials are an essential part of our export brand. Our reputation, and by extension our livelihoods, depend on it.
“But lifting animal welfare outcomes is not solely the responsibility of farmers. The report makes it clear this responsibility is shared across the pastoral farming supply chain.
“The Coalition Government is also committed to giving farmers the right tools and advice to ensure better animal welfare.
“As is usual, our best farmers are well ahead of these discussions and have winter grazing practices that would withstand any scrutiny.
“New Zealand First fully supports the proactive approach the Minister of Agriculture is taking, working alongside farmers to uphold our international reputation,” says Mr Patterson.