MAF inspections of Crafar farms complete

9 October 2009

Inspections by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) of all 22 Crafar-owned properties have concluded, MAF Director-General Murray Sherwin announced today.

"Over the course of the last week, MAF animal welfare inspectors, assisted by New Zealand Food Safety Authority veterinarians and industry organisations, have visited all Crafar properties. A number of properties were found to have significant animal welfare issues. Action was taken at some others to alleviate immediate problems."

"On the properties where a response was necessary, MAF had issued explicit directions of what is needed to remedy particular problems such as under weight animals with underlying health issues, inadequate feed, overstocking, and lack of shelter for calves. Regular and consistent input from veterinarians and farm consultants has also been instructed and organised."

"MAF and the Crafar farm receivers are working together on remedial activity where necessary and will continue to collaborate and stabilise these properties for the long term."

"Animal welfare is our highest concern and the most important aspect of any investigation is the animals. While on farm inspections have been completed, and some serious animal welfare issues identified investigations are ongoing and evidence is still being gathered. It will take time before specific prosecution decisions are made."

"MAF has been supported in this work by industry groups such as Dairy NZ, Fonterra and Federated Farmers, who are all committed to animal welfare and expediting recovery on Crafar properties."

"From a broader perspective, MAF and industry groups have agreed to work together to better co-ordinate early warning systems to identify potential issues at both a systemic and individual farm level."

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