Saturday, December 20, 2014

Not Good Enough, Bitch.



I am firmly in the camp that understands  the number of scroats in the dairy industry is relatively few but one would always be too many.

I travel rural roads regularly and occasionally a farming practice gives offence, usually minor and rarely repetitive.

One however has emerged over time as a shocker.
Wintering cows has its problems when the weather conspires to thwart good practice and after farming for over 40 years there were times when being left knowing I could have done better, did happen, often only with that wonderful resource known as hindsight
Seeing pregnant cows struggling through deep mud to access fixed water troughs can be alleviated with portable ones.
Seeing cows being break fed will sometimes look extremely unpleasant to the uninitiated.
A heard with no drained areas to rest on has animal welfare problems writ large.
The list above can and do happen but the farm that has prompted this scribble has much deeper issues that have so far been papered over preventing any serious scrutiny.

The owners who live in the city some 100 kms away, have trespassed three adjoining neighbors and warned newly appointed staff to avoid at least two other neighbors accused of being trouble makers.
After settled management in earlier years there has been a disturbing repetitive series of dismissing managers when the bonus comes due, when the calving , mating, and next years winter feed is organised or completed and the routine of growing grass and milking the cows becomes the norm, allowing the owners to manage from the city with remaining staff.
This has been recurring practice for the last decade and the owners are in an arbitration hearing as I type this.
I have been made aware of other  incidents, some serious that continue what has been a growing list of negative image creation.
Agreeing to purchase bulls then failing to complete when a better offer emerges with out notice to the  agent or vendor.
Assuming a "right" to cross the land of one of the trespassed with Irrigation mains and becoming a failed litigationist when thwarted
Agreeing verbally to take Baleage at a negotiated price then failing to uplift or pay when conditions improved to the point the additional feed was not required.
Killing newborns using the methods that were central to the widely condemned events in Chile then dumping the bodies in a pit with allegations all were not actually dead.
Fouling roadways and declining to employ mats or any washdown procedures.
Totally baseless allegations of stock theft.
Harassment, and threats of police involvement and other legal threats to unrelated parties.
My allegations are not a complete list and each may be rather minor when considered separately, but as a package become compelling as a whole.
These people have little understanding of social norms and respect for others that are certainly disappearing from the rural scene yet are still regarded by many as best practice.

This bitch and her useful idiot husband as owners and sometime farm managers should exit the industry and monitoring by animal welfare and Fonterra needs to be seriously intensified to deal with one of the seriously rotten apples in the barrel.

Yes this has been a rather ott  missive in this run up to the Festive Season and I am at a loss how to do more without making for a serious potential cockup in neighborhood relationships. Wherever this ends it will be drawn out and the players will be forced to coexist in the meantime.
Except for the next employee treated as a disposable chattel with seemingly very poor ways to protect themselves from exploitation, they will be disappeared without so much as a ripple to most.
That they are often minority foreign nationals with language, social and cultural disadvantages is only  further impediment to any redress and the bastard owners are fully cognisant of those simple facts.
That there seems to be a problem in raising and resolving such issues, is of concern, but having written this post I have assuaged my feelings of helplessness to a small measure.

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