The Ministry for Primary Industries has completed an investigation into an animal welfare complaint regarding jersey cows being transported across Cook Strait in March this year.
The cull dairy cows were being transported from a farm in the upper South Island to a meat processing plant in Wellington.
MPI District Compliance Manager Nelson/Marlborough Ian Bright said that as part of the investigation animal welfare inspectors interviewed the farmer, the stock agent who arranged the transport, the truck driver, the transport company owner, the yardman at the processing plant and the veterinarian at the plant that inspected the animals on arrival.
“After speaking to all people who handled the animals from the farm to processing, there was no evidence of the animals suffering physical harm through poor body condition. There was no evidence of an animal welfare offence.”
“That is not to say they were in prime condition. These were dairy cows that were being culled from the herd and being sent for processing. Their body condition was acceptable for transporting and for processing.”
Mr Bright said staff visited the farm the cows came from and found no animal welfare issues. Staff spoke to the farmer’s vet and stock agent who both expressed confidence in the practice on the farm and the reputation of the farmer.
“We found that the 50 cows were inspected by a veterinarian when they arrived at the processing plant, who found no issues with poor body condition.”