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Activists won't deny hidden farm cameras

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 14/10/2016

An animal rights group won't deny hidden cameras allegedly found in a Waikato farmer's milking shed are its doing.

Federated Farmers has been warning members to be on the lookout for recording devices after a Waikato farmer complained about finding hidden cameras.

Rural security spokesman Rick Powdrell said a complaint had been lodged with police over the incident.

"It would appear it's someone off farm. Someone who's trespassed, broken health and safety regulations and entered a restricted area on the farm," he said.

The issue of bobby calf abuse made headlines last year after animal rights groups SAFE and Farmwatch released secretly obtained footage showing the treatment of animals at farms.

SAFE executive director Hans Kriek told NZ Newswire while that campaign had proven effective and resulted in changes, the organisation had nothing to do with the current allegations.

But Farmwatch's John Darroch would not confirm or deny the group had planted the cameras.

"If you had found cameras on a fishing boat or a goat farm or anywhere in the country, I wouldn't deny it because I don't want any industry to know one way or another," he said.

"For all I know it could be a police investigation into drug dealing or anything. There's plenty of different agencies or organisations which have an interest in placing hidden cameras."

He said he hoped it was proactive monitoring by farmers.

Mr Darroch had earlier suggested the Ministry of Primary Industries could have place the cameras.

But MPI said it had no involvement.

"If there are cameras in Waikato dairy sheds, they are not Ministry for Primary Industries cameras," Waikato Compliance Manager Brendon Mikkelsen said.

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