Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dairy cow care

Animal welfare is high on the public’s agenda.

The public expects animals under our care to be well looked after and not to suffer unnecessarily. There is nothing complicated about these expectations.

Globally New Zealand has good standing when it comes to animal welfare and I am determined to safeguard that reputation.

In fact, I am committed to raising standards.

The new Animal Welfare Code for Dairy Cattle provides immediate animal welfare gains for the majority of dairy cattle in New Zealand.

It provides clear guidelines about the handling and management of dairy cattle and leaves farmers in no doubt about the standards of welfare they should meet.

It covers all areas of dairy cattle management from handling and husbandry practices, to food, water, shelter and health.

The dairy industry, with its involvement in developing this code, has taken a positive and proactive approach to animal welfare. Its continued leadership will be vital in ensuring that the standards in this code are met and even exceeded.

Friday, February 19, 2010

New chapter for wool

As Winston Churchill once said: “If we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find that we have lost the future.”

And it is the future 35 wool sector leaders focused on, when they agreed to adopt the recommendations of the Wool Taskforce report Restoring Profitability to the Strong Wool Sector.

It is an encouraging step forward for the New Zealand wool industry and I’m hopeful it marks the beginning of a new chapter.

There has been robust discussion about the report, but everyone agrees that forming a ‘single voice’ to act on behalf of the industry is a vital first step in ensuring the sector’s future.

The answer doesn’t lie with any of the existing organisations, but rather with a clean slate approach.

I am now seeking an independent expert to work on forming a single body for the New Zealand wool industry. This convenor will begin the task of unifying an industry that has been fragmented for far too long.