Shocking body pit found on Northland farm at centre of bashing

New footage shows a pit of bodies on the Northland dairy farm at the centre of last week’s bashing exposé.

It is sadly commonplace for farms to have so-called 'offal pits' containing the bodies of animals that have been killed or have died. We believe the pit was not examined by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) when they visited the property earlier this year after allegations of animal abuse.

The open pit, filmed by Farmwatch, contained hundreds of bodies of cows and calves, some of which had had their throats cut. Rats were also seen running over the rotting bodies. 

“If MPI had made the effort to walk around the property they would have found the bodies and been able to examine them for injuries,” says Hans Kriek. “If current law doesn’t allow the use of hidden cameras, MPI could at least take a vet to examine the animals, interview the farm owner and workers, and examine animals dumped in the farm’s offal pit.”

In addition to the serious questions over how and why these animals died, the bodies were within metres of a stream, posing a danger of environmental contamination. This puts the pit in breach of MPI’s and Dairy NZ’s guidelines, Northland Regional Council regulations and Fonterra's supplier agreement.

Had MPI properly investigated the serious complaints against this cruel farmer, a lot of suffering would have been avoided and the pollution of the stream could have been stopped.

We are calling for MPI to be stripped of its animal welfare responsibilities and for the creation of a fully resourced Ministry for Animal Welfare.


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