Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Justice for dirty dairying

Cleaning up the dairy industry requires prosecutions, and it requires significant fines to make dirty practices economicly unviable. Finally, we're seeing some progress on that:

The Auckland District Court on Tuesday fined Fenwick Farms $114,000 after it admitted pumping dairy shed effluent straight into a stream which feeds the Waikato River.

A former employee of the farmer thinks the heavy fine was justified - and that it should have been higher.

"Should be paying more for the amount of effluent on it. He knew what he was doing. There was no remorse about it. The only remorse he's got is probably getting a fine, and that's it," the former employee said.

Its a record fine for the Waikato region, and almost 2.5 times the previous record. Which tells us that the courts are losing their patience with this as well, and recognising the damage it causes, both to the environment and the dairy industry. Even Federated Farmers supports the fine - which tells us we might just be on the verge of the culture shift we need.