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Sue Kedgley on "Factory Farms"

Sue Kedgley's article in today's 'Herald' would have been fine if she had not fallen into the usual Greenie hyperbole trap. Worse, she failed to reference the alleged statements by Theo Spiering of which she has such trenchant criticism. And to cap it off, the article appears to promote confused objectives surrounding animal welfare on the one hand, and environmental purity on the other. 

Sue may wish that she could turn the clock back, but that ain't going to happen. The die is cast for better or worse, and we now have to learn how to deal with intensification. Europe went completely overboard when it realised that it was drowning in effluent - it has cleaned up the environment by huge enforced investment in 'shed' or year-round indoor facilities.

We have no reason at this point to follow this course, but there is a less radical solution involving the housing of the animals at certain critical times of the year - both for their benefit, an that of the environment. This a combination of 'shed' and 'pastural' farming practices that may just save us from heading in the direction of totally polluted waterways, if only they could get a universal 'buy-in,'

But it will require a commitment by the industry that to date we have only heard articulated by Theo Spiering - an import from Holland who knows only too well what lies ahead if we are to survive the backlash that will likely hit our exporters at about the same time there is a downturn in powder prices. Our industry representatives appear at this stage to be entirely unconvinced - even sullenly sceptical, and Spiering will need to follow a very diplomatic path if he is to be effective in the face of industry apathy.

I would not like to be in his shoes when the inevitable reaction occurs, and his members tell him (behind closed doors, of course!) to mind his own business, and leave farming to the farmers. Well, we all know the result of that - minimal capital expenditure on mitigation, and maximum promotion of farm values.

Eventually, the Government will have to step in and take control - the Regional Council approach lacks teeth, and is taking too bloody long to achieve the results that are needed.  




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Reader Comments (1)

"...Eventually, the Government will have to step in and take control - the Regional Council approach lacks teeth, and is taking too bloody long to achieve the results that are needed."

I think you need to take aim elsewhere…

Regional Council's attempts to control Land use activities for the purposes of promoting water quality or aquatic and terrstrial biodiversity were vigorously opposed by District Councils who see this as an attempted take over of their core function.Raather than see the bigger picture they plumped for patch protection. This was particularly evident in the combined submission by the various Districts to Waikato Regional Councils Policy Statement hearings.

Somehow controlling land use activities to protect water quality and biodiversity outcomes was too prescriptive for the District(s) (read farmer based power advocacy) and that Regional Council should stick to an effects based approach. By the time the effects are known it is all too late especially with the amendments to the RMA putting more emphasis on economic factors and/or capital investment.

Self serving DC management and small town Mayors do not give a rats rear end about the effects of intensification as maintaining incomes and private property rights is the Holy Grail. All very here and now with no thought to the future of this land or export market backlash. ergo Sandra Goudie.

January 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

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