Dairy farmers are being warned to watch out for hidden cameras in their dairy sheds after a Waikato farmer recently found such a device in his milking shed.
The camera was aimed at the area where the farmer places milking cups on the cows, Waikato Federated Farmers president Chris Lewis said.
It had been placed there without permission.
“That’s very much a concern, not just because it’s illegal or the privacy issues, but it’s also all the other issues around on farm security, health and safety and all of the other things farmers have to deal with and then you find you have been snooped on for no reason.
It is both illegal and a gross invasion of privacy.
While he would not comment on who he believed put the camera there, a message alerting farmers of the camera on the federation’s facebook page pointed the finger at animal rights activists.
“It seems there are people around who think filming dairy cows being milked will give them evidence of animal welfare issues,” it said.
However, Animal Rights group SAFE said the cameras did not belong to it, while another group, Farmwatch, would neither confirm nor deny they installed the cameras.
Farmwatch investigator John Darroch told RNZ the group did not comment on operational matters, or how they carried out investigations.
“I’m not willing to comment, but what I would say is you should contact [Ministry for Primary Industries] and see if they are their cameras, because since our investigation last year I’ve been pushing them to take a more proactive approach – we’ve seen that a complaint based system doesn’t work.”
I’d say it is Farmwatch. The other groups were happy to deny it. It will be great if they can prove who did it, so they can be prosecuted.