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
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
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.