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Workshops will bring farmers up to speed with welfare laws

Animals

The DairyNZ ‘Welfare Matters’ two-hour workshops kick off in Hawera in Taranaki on Wednesday 29 April, then go to Stratford and Waihi on 30 April. Longer, four-hour sessions on stock welfare will also get underway this month in Southland with one on 28 April in Winton and another on 30 April in Gore.

DairyNZ’s animal welfare team leader Chris Leach says the workshops are an easy way for farmers to quickly bring themselves up to speed with everything they need to know about animal welfare. 

“The workshops will help farmers clearly understand what the rules are, what farmers can do to comply and provide some practical instruction to train staff on their farms,” he says. 

“We had a change to the animal welfare code last year and other proposed changes to the Animal Welfare Act are going through parliament right now and are expected to come into force later this year. These latest changes are likely to give the Ministry for Primary Industries greater powers to issue infringement notices and fines. 

“So both sets of workshops have been designed with decision-makers in mind as they are the ones who will ultimately be held responsible if the farm isn’t compliant. Often people slip up just because they are not aware of changes to industry standards or misinterpret what they need to do,” says Chris. 

The workshops will also cover the options for managing tails and the euthanasia of calves, ensuring cattle are fit for transport and the tools and strategies to help train farm employees in good welfare practices. 

“The workshops will be delivered by local veterinarians and will help farmers minimise any risks to their business. It’s also about helping farmers to know how to instil a first–class animal welfare culture in their farm team. Our industry is committed to farming to high standards of animal health, welfare and well-being and most farmers take their responsibilities very seriously,” he says. 

The Dairy Women’s Network is joining with DairyNZ to take the longer four hour ‘stock welfare’ workshops. These sessions will run in Ruawai in Northland and various parts of the Waikato, the West Coast, Canterbury and Southland. 

“These ‘stock welfare’ workshops will run from 10am to 2.30pm and will cover a bit more such as practical skills training.

“They are also aimed at the decision-makers in the farming business – and include a lunch with other farmers to discuss welfare and other issues,” says Chris.

To register for all the workshops, visit www.dairynz.co.nz/welfare-workshops

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