Nu Zilind Gothic – Primary Sector Privilege Needs to End


They will never admit it, but the cowboys of New Zealand’s raw resource extractive economy are privileged. Farmers have considerable wealth tied up in property and stock, they have had access to undervalued freshwater to extract from, and to dispose into. Long time fishers often didn’t have to pay for their quotas and they certainly don’t pay for biodiversity costs. The use of raw resources such as land, soil, water, and fish stocks, are true examples of privatised benefits and socialised costs.

If you or I treated animals the way many farmers do, with systematic mistreatment, there’s a chance we’d be condemned. But the sheep sector that allows up to a hundred thousand lambs to die in spring snows each year expect us to feel sorry for their losses – not for the sheep. Dairy farmers want dispensations for polluting swathes of streams and rivers, and ruining freshwater for generations to come. The fishing industry would have us believe that they are caring stewards of the sea, keen on sustainability, and that they never catch dolphins.

They trot out the rhetoric that they are struggling, the back bone of the country, put upon by ‘urban liberals’ who sit round drinking lattes and know nothing about farming.

I grew up on a farm and remember the misery of pigs in tiny pens, castrations and tail clipping done without anesthesia. The sows that had no access to natural bedding, no space to turn around, no way of nurturing their piglets. My experiences of pigs having their throats cuts, bled out and scalded while the next in line watched from a cage on the tractor, put me off ever eating pork as an adult. Generally these practices haven’t changed because every time there’s a review of animal welfare, farmers successfully argue that they’re a special case, and changes to farm infrastructure would be too expensive and take too long.

Many of us have seen the videos of the cows loyally pursuing the tractors taking their babies – and those that are male being taken to the freezing works because they have little economic value. There’s the evidence of the bobby calves being mistreated, -just babies, being thrown around, left in the cold, and bashed to death. No doubt I’ll be condemned for using emotive language, of anthropomorphising the emotional effects on other animals, of generalising mistreatment when bad performers are ‘the exception’. But in the animal industrial complex, non-human life and nature are considered as a commodity and have little alternative value.

We’ve seen the videos and the photos of barns full of chickens, bred to mature in only six weeks to suit the fast-food market in stores and takeaway chains, but so distorted that they can barely stand. They’ll never see the sky except on their way to the rendering plant. They’ll never get a chance to fly, or to scratch in the dust. The way they’re bred and raised means they’re barely chickens at all.

We are less likely to see the travesties of modern fishing practices because there are so few observers, and on the rare occasion when cameras do catalogue indiscriminate fishing practices, you can be sure fishing industries don’t want the public to view it. It’s worth noting though that when cameras were installed as a trial on six fishing boats out of Timaru, five of them hauled up and discarded undersized, non-target fish, and the by-catch included two Hector’s dolphins. Generally, if a fishing boat catches a rare dolphin as long as it’s reported there will be no fine – but who would report it anyway because if you do, rumours have it you’ll be beaten up for jeopardising the industry. If you had any doubt about the privilege of the fishing industry, check out the Animal Welfare Act, mistreatment of animals is generally prohibited, unless it’s as by-catch. You can go to jail for catching trout without a licence but if you pillage the oceans on grand scale you’ll get very rich and a knighthood to go with it.

The privileged status of the primary sector is evident at the moment, with Governmental reviews of freshwater and Maui and Hector’s dolphins. In both cases affected sectors are pleading special interests.
The Seafood Industry have been running full page ads in leading newspapers pre-empting potential removal of their privileges and entitlements to kill. This week they featured Curly Brown, who’s been a fisherman off Taranaki for 38 years. The industry fudges the facts by denying they see or kill Maui dolphins, and claim that people like Curly, who employs five people including him and his wife, are the lifeblood of coastal communities, implying him and his mates are being unfairly targeted to save the endangered species only found here – making the argument that it’s people like Curly who are the endangered ones.

TDB Recommends

We’ve seen similar rhetoric this week from the dairy industry in response to the Government’s proposals to better manage fresh water for human and environmental health. Dairy farmers old and new have had such free and privileged access to freshwater that it’s driven landscape scale conversions to intensive and extensive dairying, ruining rivers in less than a lifetime.

The Government objectives are entirely reasonable – recognising that clean freshwater is a public and ecosystem right. That anyone should be able to swim, fish, gather mahinga kai and enjoy freshwater, but that urban development, agriculture, horticulture, forestry and other human activities are eroding that. The Action for Fresh Water Plan recognises a lack of robust regulations, monitoring and enforcement governing freshwater management, and aims for material improvements in degraded catchments within five years, and a return to healthy states within a generation. The draft plan aims to stop freshwater getting worse, for better management of storm water and waste water, with no further loss of wetlands (we only have less than 1% left) and streams, for tighter controls to prevent sediment loss from earthworks and urban areas, and for farmers and growers to understand and manage environmental risks and follow good practices. The plan proposes new standards and limits on some farming practices in some regions and catchments including providing financial and other support to assist a transition to sustainable land use.

It is suggested that all farmers and growers should have a farm plan to manage risks to freshwater by 2025 and that this includes restrictions on further dairy intensification unless there is evidence that it won’t increase pollution, through interim measures from June 2020. The aim is to reduce Nitrogen and Nitrate loadings within five years and to apply standards for intensive winter grazing, feedlots and stockholding areas. Given the images of cows chest deep and calving in mud, sediment plumes and other evidence of both animal welfare and environmental harm from intensive stock practices, we should welcome and support these proposals.

Federated Farmers have reacted on behalf of their stakeholders, with ‘shock and fury’, suggesting farmers have been ‘thrown under the tractor’, that the proposals are unnecessarily stringent, would come at great cost, that it would be “very hard to economically continue farming animals and vegetables under a regime like this”. The long-term targets are “effectively unachievable in some parts of the country or will end pastoral farming in these areas”.

National Party agriculture spokesperson Todd Muller played to his rural electorate audience and called the moves a “gut punch to rural New Zealand”, saying “farmers already put their shoulders to the wheel and put in the hard yards for water quality…”. National’s environment spokesperson (surely a contradiction in terms) Scott Simpson, said the proposals would “severely limit New Zealand’s most profitable sector”.

Naturally sectors who benefit from free resources such as freshwater will resist regulations designed to make their practices more environmentally sustainable. Any attempt to internalise and properly reflect hitherto uncosted benefits will be seen to hit their bottom lines.

But for the sake of ecosystems, animals, environmental and public health and our international reputation, the privilege needs to end. Whether or not the Government will be prepared to stand its ground and stare down fishing and farming interests for the greater good, remains to be seen.


  1. Regrettably the extractive and primary production industries are NZ’s productive ones.

    We couldn’t afford first world healthcare (if we still have it) with an economy based on selling flat whites to each other and writing hot takes about the latest Shortland St plot line.

    • But we could if we ended the Fonterra joke that exports our commodities at the lowest value point in the chain. By diversifying and farming sustainably we can make and offer products of higher value. What use is all this agriculture if the end result is poisoned water. The agriculture sector has proven themselves unable to self regulate. The state of water quality tells the sad story

    • I’ve been laying this out for many years here TDB. The primary sector is really the only sector where actual net wealth is being generated for New Zealand. Christine Rose utterly fails to follow the money and seemingly believes in the free lunch MMT nonsense where money (and wealth) can simply be printed into existence and everyone wins.

  2. It is extremely demoralising to people involved in primary industries who have over years put effort into running their businesses conscientiously in respect of the environment they have chosen to make their lives in, and love not just as much but more than their city brethren who prefer the comfort and convenience of the city life, to realise how they can only earn the hatred and condemnation of the rest of society. The society that derives everything from the land and the sea they that is not provided by tourism.
    Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!
    It’s for sure that the way pigs and poultry are farmed doesn’t bare close examination. Think about it next time you are eating your KFC. The reason that chicken leg is so succulent and large is not a good thing for the chicken, The lambs however are born into their natural environment and the late snow storm is a hazard that exists for them irrespective of farming. Which brings up the point that none of these animals would have a life at all in this over utilised world except to serve to feed humanity. Few living things would choose not to live even if life has to end, but I fully agree that there is no case for making any life less pleasant than it needs to be.
    BTW the price of farm land is a curse to the farming community ; it is light years above what is economically sustainable for any other industry and is entirely the result of government policy of bout camps to encourage unlimited overseas speculation on our land for short term balance of payments statistics to look good.
    D J S

    • I love the sanctimoniousness of this comment.

      Farmers aren’t growing all this food for NZers, they are growing it for the international market. If this was just about producing food for the 5million who live here, we would have a lot more concern and compassion, but Farmers are growing for a market of 45million others. So drop the pretence.

      • That’s just bullshit Martyn. Of course farms export the majority of produce overseas. It’s what they do to stay in business and make a living. but it’s good world class produce that’s not subsidised and is available for our own population to consume also. If you believe the farmers run the greedy, cruel, resource raping industry that Christine Rose portrays, you’ll want all the hill country put into trees and we can import all your livestock protein (if you’re not a vegan) from some other country that has way less environmental and livestock husbandry standards than us. Peanut butter from China, pork from Romania or wherever the hell it gets imported from. You go for it Martyn, I’ll buy NZ produce thanks , even though it’s expensive.

        • @ New View.
          Go fucking you! Brilliant points. And more of the farming you! Where are you!? Come on out to play with those who exploit and condemn you while they get fat on what you provide at the bargain basement prices the deign to drip feed out to you after they’ve bought their Ferraris, Lamborghini, Audi, BMW, Bentley. And as they admire their gleaming cock extensions through the windows of their multi-million dollar Herne Bay Huts they ponder where that cheap Kiwi lamb chop went?
          Come out and play with the banksters? Lets see how tough you fuckers are?
          All farmers?
          ALL of you! Get it? ALL. ALL of you. ALL. A.L.L.
          all |ɔːl|
          predeterminer, determiner, & pronoun
          used to refer to the whole quantity or extent of a particular group or thing: [ as predeterminer ] : all the people I met | she left all her money to him | [ as determiner ] : 10 per cent of all cars sold | he slept all day | [ as pronoun ] : carry all of the blame | we all have different needs.
          All agrarian producers of foods and fibres?
          STRIKE! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
          Fuck national.
          Fuck labour.
          Fuck them all!
          But wait! There’s more!
          As the strike takes hold and your accountant starts to looks a little trim in his/her designer threads ask HRH QE2 for a wee royal commission of inquiry into where YOUR money has been going for generations and how about a little public intel on the relationships between AO/NZ Big Business and OUR politicians spanning many generations?
          Who’s money built Invercargill’s awesome architecture? And Dunedin’s, Oamaru, Timaru, Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland’s too?
          Who’s money was that?
          STRIKE! And lets find out?

        • Yk ow what new view? Everyone always wishes that everything remains the same but it dosnt. Maintenance is essential, business models have to change as conditions inevitably change. It would be nice if everything was standardised and didn’t have to change but that is not the nature of the environment or industry.

          • Sam Farmers are changing their practices as fast or faster than any other industry. I don’t believe livestock farming is a sunset industry. The products are too good and although plenty room for factory made meat you’ll find plenty of mouths looking for the real deal. I agree that farmers need to grasp new standards of care along side the environmental issues, and they will if we give them a chance.

            • I don’t know what your position on Climate Change is but certainly things are changing and things need to start happening. I read a lot of things on The Daily Blog that say yes we need to worry. But we shouldn’t worry about Planet Earth. So planet earth will survive but the configuration of life on it is unlikely to be the same as more and more green house gases is pumped into the atmosphere.

              The more greenhouse gas is pumped into the atmosphere the more the conditions for life will change and as we all well know the first things to go are large energy demanding organisms. So as things change the climate that we’ve succeeded in will change and in turn we will not succeed as well. Y’know the waters are rising, the deserts are expanding.

              All these things are happening and Y’know species just don’t last that long. A few million years and species just go away so our time maybe up. Of course we could adapt but then that would involve figuring out what we will call the next version of we.

              • The cows will be fine Sam. As you suggest we may not. The largest amount of unwanted gas would collectively come out of us. Let’s axe a few cows so we can survive. Gosh we’re important. Let’s let the human population spiral out of control because we’re superior and clever. We’ll just get rid of all the other animals that we believe fart and belch too much. We’ll continue using air travel at will, the factories will stay and we’ll put up with our refuge dumps because we’ve got nowhere else to put that stuff we wear out. If Our farmers are filthy fuckers Sam, the rest of us are worse. Please don’t quote the psycho babble with methane amounts because my eyes water and I go doggo. Needless to say if humans generally weren’t such useless polluting wasteful pathetic arseholes we wouldn’t be spending so much time trying to get rid of a few dairy cows. Where there are too many animals for the ground they are on and the conditions they live in their numbers should be reduced. Including us. No argument.

        • If only our farming was world leading in its standards. The fact is there is growing market pressure for ethical (and safe) sources of supply.

          That farmers complain about government compulsion to do anything to protect our waterways or international media coverage (if any New Zealander dares reveal this) is instructive.

          But they do have to respond to foreign market/consumer expectations – and these are growing and alongside calls for less meat and dairy consumption.

          A nation improving its farm standards and placing caps on stock levels is in accord with these trends.

        • Sorry but when you get to empty all your piss and shit into the local water catchment its not subsidy free. If farmers paid for their water at the rate that urban people do they would really have something to moan about and until they do wil just have to learn to live within govt set limits or if thats too much for them then get out of faming and let someone else have a crack who can. Theres plenty of us would like to have a go and think we could do a whole lot better. So maybe just stop your whinging though I know thats pretty hard for farmers

      • My point was that those exports provide everything else we all use and consume. As well as what we eat. The share of revenue those exports return to the farm, just like all primary industries everywhere and always is the bare minimum that the system needs to provide the primary producer to keep the produce coming to market. Occasionally there are accidents that occur in the downstream management that allow a tiny bit more than essential but these over time are massively outweighed by the temporary oversupply generated by those windows.
        Try it sometime.
        D J S

        • That would be because they suck up all the available resources. Good on the govt for imposing limits. It means that more of the resources will now be available for something else and if you dont have the imagination to see what else there are plenty that will take the opportunity to diversify that this offers

      • @ Martyn. I literally can’t find it in myself to dignify your comment with a proper response. Are you being deliberately inflammatory? If anything, I’m a little embarrassed for you.

      • Farmers are a private business getting handouts from our government, using free water and wrecking our rivers and streams while we fix there fuck ups and pay for there stock with m bovis costing us millions and many of us cant even afford the meat its too dare. And yet our farmers have been getting hand outs since the geckgo and now our government is offering help with water pollution options help is always on hand for farmers who never seem to be satisfied it seems to be all take and not much give this needs to change.

  3. As an animal and grain farmer, now without a farm. Thanks bnz branch manager in timaru circa 1975-ish, I feel qualified in agreeing with many of the things you write about here. Cows cold and exhausted while tits deep in mud thus unable to lie down to sleep/rest etc. The heart break that mother-animals endure as their babies are taken off them.
    Your criticisms of many conventional farming practises is well aimed.
    Where, in your noble ranting tirade do you mention that most monstrous monster of them all? The Banks.
    The Banks insist the ‘primary industry sector’ out perform the ability of the farmers natural environments to provide. You will know that.
    You will also know that farmers aka ‘primary industry sector’ members must keep farming to survive day and sometimes night seven days a week year in year out. My fourth generation farming neighbours work a 670 acre sheep property and they, unlike the lawyers and accountants you never mention above either, drive about in flash cars making vast sums of money with months off to go on holiday. You will know that? You will know the dreaded plight of the paradoxical conundrums farmers find themselves in and yet you fail to pop that into your blurb? It’s an important element to support your comments in a balanced manner and yet you appear to avoid those extra-farm elements like a coughing kid with red spots?
    Federated Farmers:
    Federated Farmers are a nest of national party rats in little gumboots. Federated Farmers have been infested for years and years by a cadre of Machiavellian liars and swindlers for generations busily handing farmers over to a terrible, multi-headed beast like the urban natzo’s. It’s what they do. Divide and pillage. How else do you think Auckland got to where it is? Tourism? Ba haha ! But you will know that. My question to you on that point would be; are you one of them? Are you and the editor of this Blog one of ‘Them’? Interestingly, I’ve suspected that for some time and now and then a crack appears in the collective well rounded flanks of those enjoying plump good fortunes as you do, indeed, swill lattes on Ponsonby Rd.
    Do you ask yourself, when your cloak of hypocrisies fall away to reveal truths to you? How did we get here?
    Farmers? Are you there? If not? Where are you?
    This is what you do. Trust me, there is no other way.
    You must strike.
    Fuck Fed Farmers. They’re your enemy. If you’re unsure of that? Ask yourself this question? How has Fed Farmers benefited you over and above The Big City Swindlers?
    Fed Farmers will spout rhetoric, make absurd comments and use metaphors about gumboots and rugby but they have zero influence in the scheme of things and they don’t care because they’re not on your side. Is that not so Natzo’s?
    Let this be your last lambing. Keep the bull semen out of the cow wombs.
    Shear your sheep and store that wool.
    You must go in strike. All of you. And for those who won’t how’s your insurances to cover fire and medical ‘misadventure’?
    Farmers MUST strike. I’d go for one year. Most city people are out of basics in several days to a week.
    The Banksters will shriek and wail as their funds dry up and disappear. Dropping the OCR will be pointless because no export derived money.
    Farmers? You have all the power here but you’re entirely without a focusing mechanism.
    Once upon a time when farmers were keen to explore the idea of rolling strikes after forming pressure groups from one end of Nu Zillind to the other ( 1989 ) a fellow came out of nowhere with high falootin’ ideas. Collis Blake was his name. He seemed to have bottomless pocketses and was stationed near Wellington. Funny that.
    During the mini depression/recession of the late ’80’s where no one went hungry but many farmers killed themselves a rousing group of farmers stood up …! And were promptly shot down by the noble, proud collis blake.
    He started by buying up farmers farms then selling them back to the farmer without interest charged. Then, he went from meeting to meeting spreading a virus of confusions and doubts. A true Machiavellian.
    At our particular meeting held near Waipara in North Canterbury he stood up and started blathering about diversification and making do as 22% interest rates ravaged farmers. I stood up and said” Hang on a minute! ? We’re here to talk strike action and to pull in our farmers’ down stream service industry not this shit ( round of applause/ the odd whoop!) He puffed up like a bung sausage and bellowed “ Well, if that’s your plan I’ll have nothing to do with it!”
    Nothing was ‘done about anything except our banksters are making more money than ever, that we’re one of the most financially leveraged private debtors to them in the world and now you mopes are pulling your thin lips back off your big blunt molars to bite the hand that gives you the money in your pockets and the foods you eventually shit out into the oceans and rivers.
    Bravo you @ CR. Well done. First Prize for Traitor of the Month.

    • I’m with you on your comments about FF, CB.
      It will truly be a great day in history if/when NZ farmers finally wake up to how they have been screwed by FF/The NZ National Party for the most part of a century and form their own organisation that doesn’t exist as National’s rural rump.
      I hope I am alive to see it happen.

    • If Farmers all went out on strike the banisters would foreclose on all the farms and the government would sell them as a job lot to China CB.
      D J S

    • Some on arable land will be able to grow a grain crop to feed the meat/milk factory but it would be more efficient to eat the crop directly. Hill country doesn’t have that option.
      The synthetic meat will not grow out of sand or soil or air. Or out of mineral oil either I would.t think.
      D J S

  4. Improved rural urban linkages: Building sustainable food systems

    The article of Christine Rose describes facts that cannot be disputed. Many arguments raised by the respondents cannot be disputed either.

    Building up rural or city folks as actual enemies of each other is not helpful at the end, albeit useful for analytical purpose, especially if an element of class structure would be added to it.

    Both groups, rural and urban producers and consumers, are trapped in the same system of reckless exploitation of natural resources and capitalization of every iota of life. One does not go minus the other.

    Without a perspective of radical system change the discussion tends to look like mudslinging.

    No doubt, what AONZ needs is a comprehensive rural development programme that fosters diversification of agricultural production, local market orientation, rural vocational training, sustainable forestry and fisheries, land use governing protection of natural resources, etc.

    Climate Resilience.

    System change. Now.

  5. There are some farmers and farmers organisatiosn that promote and put into practice cleaner more sustainable use of resources but unfortunately they are treated as leppers by the traditional organisations such as FF.
    The favourite argument the traditionalists have is the bogey that if they have to do everything more sustainably then consumers will have to pay more for their food, and then a large proportion of those demanding change suddenly have second thoughts!
    Most of us are guilty of this at some time, we say we want clean but only if someone else (like the government) will pick up the tab.

    • Primary producers are always price takers not price setters. You will only pay more if demand increases. Probably by farmers going out of business of planting trees. You have to wait longer but they are much easier to farm.
      D J S

  6. For the record, I’ve condemned the banking system elsewhere. And I’m certainly not getting fat on KFC because I don’t eat that shit and don’t eat any meat at all. I don’t drink lattes either.

    • Christine I totally concur with your horror of unnecessary cruelty to animals and your empathy with the distress that farming animals causes them at times. But nature itself is cruel. I don’t believe animals are any less subject to emotional distress than we are just because they can’t speak. Their body language is eloquent.
      But it gets us nowhere to castigate and censure the farming community the way you have done here. You could have made all the points you have about the environment without the accusations and hostility emulating Martyns natural instincts. It’s not constructive to make enemies of the people you have to work with.
      No hard feelings D J S

      • I’m lactose intolerant, and I’m not a calf. I was weaned years ago 🙂 Though I do commend the happycow milk company

  7. You’ve lumped a bunch of primary industries together all with different issues, all irrelevant to each other , all important but you are coming across with a classic urban vs rural uninformed spray, your (apparent) historic country roots don’t forgive you some basic knowledge.
    Some specific points:
    Pigs: by law must be stunned before bleeding out when slaughtered commercially. Farmers cutting throats without first shooting dead even on farm would also be reported and fall short of current welfare codes. If your family was cutting pigs throats on farm even back in the day without shooting, that’s a shit show, and your family have issues, not normal.
    Sheep: clearly unbeknown to you some farmers are already moving to local anaesthetic for docking.
    Lamb losses to snow? Before agriculture goats/sheep would have been simply eaten alive by wolves or mountain lions. Well farmed animals live a better life on farm than a naturally predated one.
    Nature is cruel and doesn’t have welfare standards.
    Good farmers, which is most of them, empathise immensely with their stock.They suffer mentally when their animals do and consequently have a higher suicide rate than social justice warriors.
    They are animal people, not urban preachers.
    Dairy? Not a personal fan of corporate farming, most aren’t corporates , it’s crap to lump everyone in with some over irrigated farms in Canterbury. How to unwind the over intensification of some areas without hitting the guys doing the right thing should be the question. Solution is nuanced and will involve compensation as in Taupo and overseas. More stick, no carrot seems to be what’s on offer.
    Good luck with that.
    Fed farmers? Have done more harm than good at national level being pig headed despite some genuine good reps at ground level IMO
    Commercial fishing? Different thread?
    This post of yours further impresses on me that the left aren’t looking for solutions for NZ they are just looking to put the boot in to who they perceive as their political opponents- they certainly will be now.
    The politics of kindness.

  8. Farming is like housing.

    The land is overvalued. And we want higher farm and land use standards and we want better quality housing.

    Farmers with the debts they have will struggle with higher standards and given land for housing is so expensive and we have a housing shortage – every move to improve housing quality results in increasing unaffordability (prices and rents).

    The government is doing more in housing (1000 new state houses a year) and now rent to own.shared equity (capped numbers), lower deposits for Kiwi Build homes. But not enough.

    As for farmers – I would suggest interest free loans for money invested to raise farming practice standards (the money plus interest accruing repaid on farm sale, so the government books are OK), so that farm operating costs are unaffected.

  9. I didn’t say the pigs weren’t shot first – but that doesn’t diminish the horror and really, when such acts of barbarism as bashing calves to death or killing animals without stunning them first, the chances of any scrutiny let alone reporting are incredibly low – you’d need to be a very courageous whistle blower to report such travesties, and yet that is what reporting and compliance relies un because there are less than 30 MPI inspectors for the whole country. I also know finally now in 2019 that MPI are consulting on mandatory anesthesia for significant surgical procedures such as tail docking (unless for example in the case of piglets less than seven days old), -and we’ll see whether those measures actually get through the system and get implemented on farms with thousands of animals. To say that this treatment of animals is acceptable because they otherwise wouldn’t have a life and because in the wild animals die from cold and snow and wolves is a farcical argument. 70 billion animals are farmed every year and this is a systematic commodification and derogation of animals’ lives and rights. The sectors aren’t separate from each other, it’s a broad institutional problem.

    • You certainly implied the pigs weren’t shot. If they had been then they were dead when bled and your revulsion is to the blood not the suffering.
      It is not legal to bludgeon calves to death either.
      I’m not sure that waxing emotive (and slightly misleading) on illegal activity really demonstrates anything – bad people break laws, that doesn’t mean we should stop farming.
      NZ has recently upgraded welfare laws and good farmers are well ahead of legal minimum standards.
      The tail docking local anaesthesia thing has potential, but I’m not sure it’s at a stage yet where it’s proven 100% effective, or practical but at least they are trying eh.
      Good for you going vegan and walking the talk.

      • Keepcalmcarryon – it was never my intention to imply they weren’t shot, but they certainly weren’t dead when they were bled. I know the horrors aren’t legal, but by the bravery of whistleblowers we know it happens. In fact I’ve heard from people working in the industry directly that there’s more on-farm booby calf killing even than there used to be. There are some good farmers and some improvements signalled for animal welfare standards, but the basic premise of farming in my view – and that of a growing proportion of the community, an abhorrent, unjustified and unncecesary practice. I recommend some of the vast array of literature on this – starting with Peter Singer’s highly rational views, but also Sue Anderson & Will Kymlicka’s ‘Zoopolis’, and ‘Making a Killing; the Political Economy of Animal Rights’, as well as looking at NZ’s Animal Welfare Act and many of our current practices. Look at MPI’s ruling announced today for example, that winter grazing of animals in chest deep mud doesn’t contravene the Animal Welfare Act. Southland farmers might say the cows weren’t in mud for long – but how would they like to spend a night in mud with their young. There’s physiological and psychological evidence of the impacts of even small traces of mud in cows’ water supplies – the AWA just hasn’t kept up.

        • Farming is unjustifiably inhumane – example given: lots of blood but pig was already shit/stunned-
          Yet you loudly advocate for aerial use of a poison (1080)that takes up to 24 hours to kill, affecting countless thousands of animals whose young then die of starvation. The SPCA found it was in humane.

Comments are closed.