Finding value in the unwanted
A Te Awamutu calf rearer has been providing livestock for export for 15 years and he is extremely disappointed at the government’s decision to ban livestock exports from New Zealand.
After spending time on feedlots and visiting rural villages in China, Ian Farrelly knows how much the Chinese people value the livestock they import.
“As individual farmers, we will adapt and China can get their animals from anywhere,” Ian says.
“But we were their preferred source, and now it’s the animal welfare that is going to suffer, as well as the economic impacts and the damage to the relationship.”
When he started calf rearing he was recognising a solution for unwanted calves, now he rears between 10 and 12,000 calves every year, with around 20% destined for the export market. New Zealand had the potential to increase exported livestock to 500,000 animals over the next ten years.
“I could’ve easily been exporting more calves and I’m really worried about the fate of all the excess animals we will have now.”
“I struggle to understand why the practice is being banned for animal welfare reasons, yet the result will mean we are left with at least half a million more bobby calves every year.” - Ian Farrelly