Tuesday, 17 May 2022 11:55

Aerial inspections set to take off

Written by  Staff Reporters
Environment Southland will take to the skies next month for the first aerial compliance inspection of with winter grazing season. Environment Southland will take to the skies next month for the first aerial compliance inspection of with winter grazing season.

The first aerial compliance inspection of the winter grazing season in Southland will start next month.

Environment Southland acting compliance manager, Donna Ferguson, says the flights were an opportunity to see if the high levels of preparation observed during February and March cultivation flights are being followed by continued good practice.

"Many landowners have undertaken a lot of work and planning to improve intensive winter grazing practices in the region and we hope to see it come to fruitiion during the next few months," says Ferguson.

"Environment Southland is collaborating with farmers and other agencies to improve wintering practices but will take compliance action, where necessary," she says.

Flights are planned for the start of each winter month and will follow paths guided by known areas of concern and incidents reported, as well as locations noted during the cultivation flights.

Roadside assessments, which were introduced earlier this year, will also continue through the winter months.

The compliance team will follow up on any issues identified during the aerial and roadside assessments.

Anyone who sees something they're concerned about environmentally should get in touch with Environment Southland directly, it says.

"We will then be able to assess the issues raised, provide advice and follow up with the landowner if necessary," Ferguson says.

"Providing advice and education is a high priority for the compliance team because our past experience has shown that the best outcomes come from working with others."

The compliance team will be accompanied by staff from the Ministry for Primary Industries, Covid-19 protocols allowing, to inspect the animal welfare side of winter grazing.

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As Otago and Southland enters the winter grazing season, MPI says it will have inspectors on the ground ensuring things are being done correctly.

Winter grazing inspections underway

Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) inspectors are on the ground in Otago and Southland to support animal welfare as farmers enter the winter grazing season.

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