In New Zealand we love animals, and we value our natural environment. There is a future for New Zealand where both these values can be realised, but it means we need to end the use of feedlots.
The virulent spread of feedlots in New Zealand shows that our country is moving towards damaging intensification and Americanisation of the beef industry. By confining cattle in these barren dirt-covered pens, farmers are choosing to put a quick buck ahead of considerations over animal welfare and our environment.
On a feedlot, cattle can suffer because farmers subject them to:
This is a breach of the Animal Welfare Act.
Cattle are ‘fattened’ in feedlots before they’re slaughtered. The limited space is stressful for the cattle, especially if they get bullied by a more aggressive animal and have trouble accessing feed.
They are denied their natural instinct to graze, which they would normally do for up to eight hours a day. Instead, they are forced onto a diet of grain, which can cause bloating, diarrhoea and digestive discomfort.
No shelter is provided for animals in many feedlots, which breaches the Animal Welfare Act.
Feedlots are also having devastating effects on our once pristine environment. Areas of arable land are being turned into barren wastelands.
The intensification of farming must be reversed, and instead, we need to move towards a system of farming that doesn’t negatively impact on animals or our environment.
Environment Minister, Hon David Parker, promised that if elected, Labour would take action on freshwater and take better care of our environment.
He urgently needs to take action to put an end to feedlots, as part of his National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management.
Send the Minister an email urging him to end feedlots for the sake of animals and our environment.
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