Aerial compliance inspections set to begin
11 May 2022
Aerial compliance inspections set to begin next month
Environment Southland will undertake its first aerial compliance inspection of the winter grazing season at the start of June, weather permitting.
Environment Southland acting compliance manager, Donna Ferguson, said the flights were an opportunity to see if the high levels of preparation observed during February and March cultivation flights are being followed by continued good practice.
“Many landowners have undertaken a lot of work and planning to improve intensive winter grazing practices in the region and we hope to see it come to fruition during the next few months.”
“Environment Southland is collaborating with farmers and other agencies to improve wintering practices but will take compliance action, where necessary,” Mrs Ferguson said.
Flights are planned for the start of each winter month and will follow paths guided by known areas of concern and incidents reported, as well as locations noted during the cultivation flights.
Roadside assessments, which were introduced earlier this year, will also continue through the winter months.
The compliance team will follow up on any issues identified during the aerial and roadside assessments. Anyone who sees something they're concerned about environmentally should get in touch with Environment Southland directly.
“We will then be able to assess the issues raised, provide advice and follow up with the landowner if necessary,” Mrs Ferguson said.
“Providing advice and education is a high priority for the compliance team because our past experience has shown that the best outcomes come from working with others.”
The compliance team will be accompanied by staff from the Ministry of Primary Industries, Covid-19 protocols allowing, to inspect the animal welfare side of winter grazing.
Environment Southland’s approach to intensive winter grazing is collaborative, working alongside industry groups and farmers to attain better environmental outcomes for the region.
While amendments to the National Environmental Standards for Freshwater do not come into effect for this winter season, farmers should use the extra time to get acquainted with and follow the new rules, Mrs Ferguson said.
“There has been a sustained, region-wide effort to improve winter grazing practices and we hope to see the trend continue this season. We welcome anyone getting in contact with us if they need help or advice.”