rural voice

Rural People and Issues : Rural voice

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possumWhether we like it or not, 1080 poison is widely used to kill introduced mammalian species that may threaten native wildlife and harbour TB. Occasionally large pest-killing operations take place in areas not readily accessible on foot. Licensed operators drop 1080-laced bait from planes and helicopters over huge areas of forest. The target animals are usually possums, rats and stoats.

 

To The Editor
Lifestyleblock.co.nz


I refer to Dr Marjorie Orr's article posted on your site recently; a number of statements are made that in my view are not correct. The first one being the headline "Why is home-kill meat so much better than meat from the works?"

meatboardwRod Slater is correct in some of his responses to my article on home-kill vs meat works meat, however as he rightly points out, when I said home-kill was 'better' I was focussing on better welfare for the animals and a better financial deal for the farmer (who can make use of the whole carcase). I believe that these are issues that are important to most lifestyle farmers.

As a country based on animal exports, it’s important that our animal welfare standards lead the world. We must be ahead of anyone who sees our standards as a way to block our trade. Before we start trying to change the world, we need to start off at home, and New Zealanders need to know what’s going on and especially why.

stock losses in winter stormsIn recent months we've had snow, floods, earthquakes and high winds.  It's been a cruel spring for many New Zealanders, not least for farmers. Down here in the South our biggest challenge was a terrible storm that hit in mid-September.  It brought snow, sleet and icy gale-force winds.  It went on and on and on for more than a week, right at the height of the lambing season.

spcaSome people get confused about the SPCA - there's the RNZSPCA and your local SPCA - what's the difference? The national RNZSPCA is an over-arching body with strong affiliation to 48 regional SPCAs.  It helps and supports them all. 

empathyOne of the nicest things about having a lifestyle farm is that we can keep a few pets and friendly farm animals, and most of us know quite a few youngsters who love to visit them. Why not throw the net wider and invite more children to share the pleasures of being with trusting friendly farm animals?  Bringing young visitors onto our farms gives us a great opportunity to teach the kids about the realities of farming animals and the need to take good care of them.

meatThose of you who have eaten home-killed meat will have noticed that it is more tender and tastier than meat from animals killed in the freezing works. This is partly because commercial operators must comply with a regulation requiring that stock are visibly clean when presented for slaughter.

animal neglectMost of us are responsible animal owners.  We take good care of our animals, and we encourage our friends and family to do the same. But what if you see someone else's animal suffering and you are reasonably sure it is the result of neglect or ill-treatment?  What should you do? You can report your concerns to animal welfare inspectors in the SPCA or MAF.  First though, it pays to ask yourself three questions.
animal welfareAs a country based on animal exports, it's important that our animal welfare standards lead the world. We must be ahead of anyone who sees our standards as a way to block our trade.  Before we start trying to change the world, we need to start off at home, and New Zealanders need to know what's going on and especially why.
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