The Dairy Cattle Code of Welfare has been reissued with amendments covering the humane destruction of calves on farm. These amendments came into effect on 13th June 2014.
Minimum Standard No. 17 - Calf Management
a) Calves must be handled and moved in a manner which minimises distress and avoids pain, injury or suffering.
b) Premature calves that are unlikely to survive, or calves that have debilitating congenital defects, must be humanely destroyed at the earliest opportunity.
c) When calves are killed on farm, the following apply:
- Calves must be rendered immediately insensible and remain in that state until death is confirmed.
- Persons undertaking humane destruction must be suitably trained and competent in the procedures for handling and killing of calves.
- Calves must not be killed by the use of blunt force trauma caused by a blow to the head, except in unforeseeable or unexpected situations requiring emergency humane destruction.
These changes mean that firearms and captive bolt devices are the only on-farm options for the humane destruction of calves. Captive Bolt slaughter devices are approved by DairyNZ & NAWAC for the humane destruction of animals from calves, to cows, pigs and bulls. A firearms license is not required for use, although correct training of your staff prior to the use of the device is essential.
If you have any concerns regarding these changes or would like more information on the Captive Bolt device, please pop in to the clinic and have a chat with one of our vets.