The news is full of the problems caused by a few farmers who do not recognise the value of protecting the environment – for their community, the health of their stock and for their profits.
Although effluent management is improving, you have to ask why it has taken decades to recognise the problems caused when effluent is allowed to flow into freshwater, whether from dairy sheds and drains or direct from the cows. Yet a few old school farmers still treat flowing waterways as effluent ditches and allow their stock to stand, crap in and drink from polluted creeks.
Imagine this: a tourist from a more enlightened country, visiting because of the 100% pure and clean green image NZ still manages to portray, participates in an ecotourism wildlife trip. As they journey down the waterway, they pass dairy cows standing in and crapping in the creek. Not a good look. Those tourists are also likely to expect our treatment of stock to be to a high standard. But they might be shocked to see stock huddled together up against a fence with no where else to go, bums to a cold and wet southerly, with no where to shelter.
Looking after our freshwater and our animals to a high standard is long overdue.