. . . Yesterday SAFE called for the government to block feedlots saying it showed overcrowded cattle after the footage aired on Radio New Zealand’s Checkpoint.
However, Federated Farmers said SAFE did not really care about animal welfare and said their goal was to end all animal farming.
“SAFE’s agenda is to get rid of farmed animals. Animal welfare is a secondary concern for them,” Miles Anderson, Federated Farmers meat and wool chairman, told RNZ.
“They are vegan fundamentalists. I take most of what they say with a grain of salt. It would do them a world of good to have a nice leg of lamb.” . . .
If there are genuine environmental or animal welfare concerns they should be reported to the relevant authorities – the regional council or MPI.
But SAFE tends to be more interested in making headlines based on their agenda than presenting fact-based evidence.
One of SAFE’s complaints was that the animals don’t have shade. I’ve been to feedlots in Australia and Argentina in the middle of summer where the cattle could have been in the shade and they were choosing to stay in the sun.
I’ve been to the feedlot in question twice, both times on hot days in late summer, and saw nothing to give me any concern about animal welfarre.
The people in SAFE won’t credit farmers with concern for animal welfare for its own sake but they can’t ignore the monetary reward.
Only happy, healthy animals produce well which gives a very real financial incentive for looking after them.
Growing grass is New Zealand’s natural advantage and a very good marketing tool for our produce.
But there are niche markets for the fat-marbled steak which comes from grain-fed stock and providing they are managed well there should be no animal welfare concerns.
It’s not the way most New Zealand farmers choose to raise stock, but there’s nothing wrong with doing it that way when it’s done well.
SAFE’s campaign is yet another that is long on emotion and very, very short on facts.