Reduce effluent on roads on ‘Gypsy day’
Thursday, 28 May 2015 10:00 a.m.
Bay of Plenty cows will be on the roads this weekend as sharemilkers move stock on what’s known as ‘gypsy day’.
Farmers relocate themselves and their stock in time for the new season, which begins on June 1. That puts a lot of animals on the road or in stock trucks – and potentially a lot of effluent on the road, even if farmers only move a short distance.
This year’s moving day is also complicated by the Queen’s Birthday weekend holiday on Monday, which means there may be more than the usual traffic on roads.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Pollution Prevention Manager Nick Zaman said most farmers and carriers managed gypsy day well, but there was still a risk of effluent ending up on roads, which could reach waterways.
“There’s information on Federated Farmers’ website www.fedfarmers.org.nz for people moving cattle. It’s best to stand stock off green feed before they’re transported because that generates less effluent, but ensure they have access to water and dry feed,” he said.
Farmers moving stock on roads should check with their district council if they needed a permit to move cattle. They should also ensure they had plenty of staff on hand and wear high visibility clothing if using quads and bikes.
"Motorists need to be patient if they come across a herd on the road. Please don’t toot your horn as that will frighten the animals. Farmers will be just as keen to get their animals off the road as you are, so wait until they have managed their stock.”
Farmers should work with their carriers so they can prepare their cows for transport, and also communicate with their new farm about arrival time. Animals will need free access to feed and water when they arrive.
Road users can report stock effluent spills to waterways to Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Pollution Hotline on 0800 884 883. Callers need to record vehicle details, including licence plate numbers, and locations. Taking photographs is also very helpful, he said.