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Revealed: Taxpayers Still Being Forced To Pay Animal Welfare Fines For Pamū Farmers

The Taxpayers’ Union can reveal that in the past three years, Pamū Landcorp has paid $2530 in fines on behalf of their employees for animal welfare offences.

The Taxpayers’ Union is shocked this is still occurring having called this out three years ago and is renewing calls for the practice of using taxpayer money to pay fines for individuals who have committed animal welfare offences to be stopped immediately.

Pamū provided information under the Official Information Act revealing the following reimbursements had been made:

> A $500 reimbursement for an animal welfare fine for allowing a ewe to be transported that had an udder with a lesion that was bleeding or discharging. The vet inspecting the animal noted that “the condition would have been present on farm and is a chronic condition. It should have been identified at shearing, or during selection for transport. This condition would have caused pain and discomfort.”

> A $500 reimbursement for an animal welfare fine for allowing a ewe to be transported that had an udder with a lesion that was bleeding or discharging. The MPI inspector noted that the ewe “was found to have a burst unhealed udder. The udder had burst some time ago and had attempted to heal unsuccessfully with raw tissue and discharge still present. These ewes were shorn, and this likely would have been present at shearing. It should also have been found prior to transport and she should not have been selected for transport.”

> A $530 reimbursement for an animal welfare fine for allowing transport of a bobby calf that was not free from showing signs of injury.

> A $500 reimbursement for an animal welfare fine for transporting a cow with an overgrown claw and low body condition (2.5/10) which lead to additional injuries and “would have caused this animal considerable unnecessary pain and distress”. The MPI inspector believed that this condition would have been noticeable on the farm before transport. The injuries sustained by the cow during transport included abrasion injuries across multiple areas of the body, inflammation, bruising, loss of hair and bleeding.

> A $500 reimbursement for permitting a calf to be transported with a navel cord that was red, raw and fleshy and was not fit for transport.

Taxpayers’ Union Deputy Campaigns Manager, Connor Molloy, said:

“The purpose of a fine is to punish those individuals who break the law and act as a deterrent for everyone else. Fines should be paid by the offending individual, not law-abiding taxpayers. We would never expect a government agency, or a private company for that matter, to pay speeding tickets for their employeesthe same level of individual responsibility and accountability should apply here too.

“Forcing taxpayers to pay the fine for farmers who have broken the Animal Welfare Act softens the individual responsibility of such behaviour and weakens the deterrent effect that ensures farmers treat their animals with the care they deserve. Occasionally mistakes happen on farm or in transport and it is not noticed until the animal is harmed. This is understandable, but the fine for mistakes and negligence provides a stinging financial reminder of farmers’ duty of care.

“Allowing Pamū Landcorp farmers to get off lightly is unfair on private sector farmers who work hard to maintain world-leading standards of care and it is certainly unfair on the animals who have to suffer as a result. While proclaiming its values on its website as being ‘proud guardians of our land and animals’, Pamū Landcorp is forcing taxpayers to effectively subsidise the small minority of farmers who mistreat their stock.

“Forcing taxpayers to foot the bill for this behaviour is abhorrent and casts a bad light on the vast majority of farmers who treat their animals with the dignity and care they deserve. We call on Pamū to commit to stop paying fines on behalf of the individual offenders immediately."

A copy of the documentation outlining the offences and internal Pamū correspondence in relation to the fines can be viewed here. (Note: The correspondence contains distressing photos of injured animals).

Showing 1 reaction

  • Nztu Media
    published this page in News 2023-07-19 16:17:27 +1200

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