Bobby calf deaths down by half for the second year running

  • Hon Meka Whaitiri

The number of bobby calves that die between the farm gate and the works is now down to 6 calves for every 10,000 and that is a victory for our animal welfare regulations, says the Associate Minister of Agriculture responsible for Animal Welfare Hon Meka Whaitiri.

“This improvement is just great to see and represents a lot of hard work done by MPI and the industry to improve the welfare of bobby calves. 

“In 2008 the mortality rate was a depressing 68 calves per 10,000 and that prompted changes in the industry that saw that rate start to fall. 

“The regulations that were introduced in 2016 have seen the deaths continue to drop every year. 

“Improvements in the mortality rates show that these regulations, alongside the industry’s own initiatives have made a real difference. 

“The welfare of calves is a collective responsibility so it’s important that we keep up the good work to make sure calves are treated humanely.” 

MPI developed the Animal Welfare (Calves) Regulations and implemented four of them in 2016, with the final three regulations coming into force in 2017. 

“I am delighted that there is yet another improvement in the mortality rates around bobby calves but we must remain vigilant,” says Meka Whaitiri. 

For the full ‘Mortality rate in young calves in the 2017 spring calving season’ report see the MPI website: www.mpi.govt.nz/calves