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Bobby calf welfare has improved: report

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/02/2017

A new report on bobby calf welfare shows there was a big improvement last year.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says his department has vets at nearly every processing plant and in 2016 the mortality rate for calves between farm and processing more than halved from 0.25 per cent to 0.12 per cent.

"This is a major drop of just over 50 per cent and shows that new regulations and education campaigns have made a real difference," Mr Guy said on Wednesday.

"As well as the big drop in mortality, calves are also arriving in much better health and condition."

In 2008 the mortality rate was 0.68 per cent.

There was outrage over the treatment of bobby calves after animal rights group Farmwatch in 2015 released videos showing calves being dragged by their legs and thrown into trucks.

In November last year, slaughterman Noel Erickson was jailed for two years after admitting he abused more than 100 calves, and two more cases are before the courts.

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