Nicholson quotes Jeanette

Fed Farmers President Don Nicholson says the Mackenzie Basin dairy farming application should be given a fair hearing under the RMA. He notes:

Putting the location aspect aside as something for the commissioners, is “loose housing” a terrible corruption of the New Zealand “brand”, as Dr Russel Norman MP, the Green Party co-leader makes it out to be? Not according to his colleague, Jeanette Fitzsimons MP. His former Green Party co-leader was so impressed when she saw a “herd home” in action, that Ms Fitzsimons entered the following words on her website about good farming stories: “I must admit I was prejudiced about herd homes before I saw this one – NZ is known for grazing its animals outside all year round – surely we don’t want to coop them up in barns away from the light and the sun and the fresh grass? However now I’m a complete convert. The high roof is translucent and lets in lots of light. The overhanging sides are open so there is air movement through but rain and cold winds are kept out. The cows are free to move around, and there is fresh hay or silage under the eaves around the outside edges of the barn for them to feed at will. If I had any doubts about the animal welfare side of things, it was dispelled when I saw them waiting in the race to get back in again out of the rain.”

Don also notes the proposal is for 18,000 cows over 16 separate farms – not in one gargantuan farm.

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