It's an early winter morning, dark and chilly, but Northland dairy farmer Jane Hutchings couldn’t be happier.
The footage, recorded by animal advocacy group Farmwatch with secret cameras installed on the farm, is creating a social media storm.
Farmers and sharemilkers have taken to social media to condemn the man’s actions. In the video, the sharemilker is clearly seen striking cows with a stick, a steel pipe and an alkathene pipe. The footage has been handed to Ministry of Primary Industries.
Taranaki sharemilker Matthew Herbert said on Twitter “that man in the headlines is not a sharemilker”.
“He’s a leech at the bottom of our industry. He should be kicked out today.”
With photos of him cuddling cows, Herbert wrote, “real sharemilkers treat their cows like this...”
Federated Farmers national sharemilkers chairman Richard McIntyre also did not hold back.
“Society don't tolerate or make excuses for wife beaters and neither will we in this case,” he tweeted.
“We need to make sure we speak up when we see cases like this on farm and ensure that something is done about it. I hope MPI now have all of the evidence they need.”
DairyNZ’s strategy leader Dr Jenny Jago says the well-being of animals is at the heart of every dairy farm.
“It is not okay to treat any animal poorly - ever - and the vast majority of farmers care deeply about their animals. This footage is disturbing and it has been reported that a complaint has been laid. This type of appalling behaviour is absolutely not representative of the thousands of farmers that work with cows every day and are passionate about animal welfare.
“Cruel and illegal practices are not in any way condoned or accepted by the dairy sector as part of dairy farming. If a farmer treats their cows badly, they shouldn’t be working in the dairy sector. It’s as simple as that,” says Jago.
MPI has not commented on the shocking footage yet.