The New Zealand Animal Law Association has called on the Ministry for Primary Industries to take action over alleged breaches of the Animal Welfare Act by farmers utilising feedlots.
“The Animal Welfare Act 1999 provides animals with five freedoms” says Cassandra Kenworthy, Vice President of NZALA.
“Feedlots, as shown recently in the media, violate at least two of those freedoms. The cows are not provided with adequate shelter, and they cannot display normal patterns of behaviour such as grazing. NZALA considers this breaches section 10 of the Act.
“The Code of Welfare: Sheep and Beef Cattles requires as a minimum standard, all cattle be provided with the means to minimise heat stress and access to shelter to reduce the risk to their health or welfare caused by exposure to cold. The feedlots shown in the media have no shade or protection from cold, breaching this minimum standard.
“The Code states best practice requires giving cattle the opportunity to graze. Animals spending months in conditions with no grass or roughage to graze on is unacceptable and contrary to the Code.”
The association says NAWAC should strengthen the Code to require grazing opportunities as a minimum standard as a matter of urgency.