Winter grazing statement by chairman

2019-08-12T13:55:00 Pacific/Auckland

12 August 2019

Statement from Environment Southland Chairman Nicol Horrell

This morning we met with a small group of protestors who are concerned about winter grazing practice in Southland. It was a brief meeting and we share some of their concerns.

In particular, we want all farmers to use good management practices. And, the proposed Southland Water and Land Plan sets a strict bar for dairy intensification and for intensive winter grazing. To get a consent for these activities, farmers are required to demonstrate that their mitigation measures will result in a decrease in sediment and nutrient losses to waterways.

Last week deputy chairman Lloyd McCallum and I flew across Southland farms and were disappointed at some of the poor winter grazing practices we saw. Our compliance team is following up their recent aerial inspections with on-site visits.

In the next few months farmers will be planning where they plant their winter grazing crops. We need to see a significant improvement in best practice. Therefore, we are currently organising a hui with industry groups to ensure there is a unified Southland approach to improving winter grazing practice.

The Council has welcomed the announcement last week by the Minister of Agriculture to establish a winter grazing taskforce focusing on animal welfare. Animal welfare and good environmental winter grazing practice go hand in hand.

Page reviewed: 12 Aug 2019 1:55pm