Graziers face legal action for underfeeding stock
22nd Apr 10, 1:40pm
A group of Waikato farmers who say they received emaciated stock back from a Waikato grazier last season are considering legal action. The group, who complained to Waikato Federated Farmers in November, are taking legal advice on the case, according to Dairy Industry Group chairman James Houghton. Fed Farmers had not taken sides in the case, but provided the group with details of a lawyer experienced in the area, reports The Waikato Times. Mr Houghton said the case, coupled with the declaration of a medium-level drought, served as a timely reminder to farmers to check stock sent to graziers every 10 days to two weeks. Reputable grazier Richard Strang, who grazes 500 dairy heifers for other farmers on his Putaruru farm, agreed with Mr Houghton. "If I have got someone else's cattle on my property it's my responsibility to provide supplementary feed for them," he said. He said he had no objections to farmers viewing their stock, so long as they contacted him first. Ian Wickham, managing director of the New Zealand Grazing Co, which grazes thousands of animals on scores of Waikato farms, didn't have much sympathy for farmers who did not have enough feed. He said his company always forward planned for a drought and had plenty of feed this season. "Farmers expect to have no food available if it does not rain."