Government must work with rural sector on common-sense stock exclusion rules

Jul 21, 2023

Assessing and managing high-risk areas through stock management will result in a better outcome, says DINZ CEO Innes Moffat.

The government must enable farmers to adopt a flexible common-sense approach to managing the exclusion of beef cattle and deer from waterways, says Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ), Federated Farmers and Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ).

In a joint submission on the low-slope map consultation, the three organisations have called on the government to work with the sector on a fair and workable solution to keep beef cattle and deer away from waterbodies.

B+LNZ, Federated Farmers and DINZ believe Freshwater Farm Plans (FWFPs), either as an exception or alternative, may be the best option to manage exclusion of beef cattle and deer from waterbodies.

They believe that stock exclusion requirements should be flexible enough for farmers to adapt and innovate to meet demands on their businesses, meet the needs of the environment, and allow regional councils to fulfil unique catchment values.

The joint submission, which was lodged on Monday, was informed by more than 340 responses from farmers to a joint B+LNZ, Federated Farmers and DINZ survey seeking feedback on the consultation.

DINZ chief executive Innes Moffat says farmers understand the need to be protecting waterways, and have incurred huge expense in fencing at risk areas, but that blanket regulation to exclude cattle and deer is not the best solution for cost-effective water management or animal welfare outcomes.

“For example, allowing individual farms to assess and manage high-risk areas through stock management will result in a better outcome than stock exclusion, but the government must allow the time to work through the options with farming groups to arrive at the outcome that is good for the environment and good for livestock farming.”

Read the submission >>

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