Animal Welfare Investigation – West Coast
3 September 2012
On 28 August 2012, a Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Animal Welfare Investigator inspected a leasehold farm in the Lake Brunner area. Several cows were found dead on the property, the remainder of the herd was in various stages of starvation.
The MPI Investigator immediately sought assistance from local veterinarians, a Dairy Farm consultant and additional Animal Welfare officers from MPI. An assessment of the herd was made by the vets.
It was established that a large number of cows were in such an emaciated state that they were unlikely to survive the coming days. The problem was compounded by most of the cows either being in calf or having recently calved.
150 cows and 30 calves were humanely euthanized on the property by the Animal Welfare investigators under the supervision of a MPI veterinarian. A further 60 cows that were fit to be transported were sent to a local freezing works.
It is alleged that breaches of the Animal Welfare Act 1999 have occurred but as yet the Ministry for Primary Industries has not charged any party.
Our primary concern is for the approximately 700 cows that remain on the property. MPI investigators and Dairy Farm Consultants are working with the owner of the property to ensure their welfare is being met.
We will release more details about the investigation when it is appropriate. We have no further comment to make at this time.