Moving dairy herds in the Hurunui District
The Hurunui District Council is pleased that the majority of dairy farmers in the Amuri area are taking a responsible approach to moving their herds on public roads. The Council’s ‘Livestock Movement Bylaw’ requires farmers to have a permit to move livestock on roads in or near urban areas, and to meet a number of other conditions when moving them in rural areas. Farmers using the Waiau Bridge have to give members of the public advance warning of when the bridge will be temporarily closed by writing on a board at the ends of the bridge. Other conditions also apply such as the need to clean the road surface quickly afterwards, having a minimum numbers of drovers depending on the size of the herd, and taping the edges of township streets to prevent cattle going onto grass verges.
This year’s annual migration of dairy stock was reasonably trouble free with the obvious exception of those farmers who failed to stand their animals for a period to allow them to empty out. “A day’s feeding of hay assists with reduction of watery effluent which is guaranteed to infuriate drivers and cyclists. I have not had any serious complaints but there have been reports of minimal staff numbers accompanying some herds”, said local Amuri Councillor, Dick Davison. He acknowledged that the work the Council had done with local farmers to get their input into the bylaw and annual reminders about what they needed to do when moving stock, had seen positive changes in behaviour.
Conditions to the bylaw were beefed up when the by law was reviewed in 2009 following constant complaints from the public and Council having to face costly repairs because of damage to the roads as a result of herd owners not taking enough care. So far this year, 11 permits have been issued compared with 9 in 2011 and 12 in 2010.
Councillor Davison said, “The other main complaints are of stock trucks emptying their tanks on the sides of roads which leaves an awful mess, and the persistent problem of a small number of farmers letting their cows cross roads for daily milking without supervision or any means of cleaning the road, and creating a disgusting mess. This cannot continue.” He urges people to contact the Council if people are concerned about stock movements or crossings or to get more information about the bylaw.
For further information contact:
Audrey van der Monde
Community and Corporate Services Manager
Hurunui District Council
03 314 0012.