Update on slink and casualty stock collections

// Animal Welfare

Traditional slink disposal services have stopped in many areas and industry bodies are urging farmers to put plans in place to correctly deal with losses over lambing and calving.

Federated Farmers has put together a helpful advisory on slink and casualty animal pick-up and on-farm disposal (see below) and Beef + Lamb New Zealand asks farmers follow the advisory.

The correct handling and disposal of casualty stock is important and this includes storing stock to be collected well inside the farm gate and out of sight. Transport casualty stock in a sensitive manner and explore options for carcass disposal within local areas before they are needed.

Slink and casualty animal pickups: Updated advisory

Calf and Lamb Slink Skins – North Island
This collection service is understood to be running normally in the North Island, and your slink collector can be contacted for any changes.

Calf and Lamb Slink Skins – South Island
The Wallace Group is the sole remaining processor of Calf and Lamb Slink Skins in the South Island - they are considering the viability of these collection services. Please call them for collection updates in your area on 03 38 43260.

Casualty Cows – North and South Islands
We understand that casualty cow collection services will be operating this year. Rendering operations are continuing in the South Island. Collection fees for Casualty Cows have risen substantially in some areas of New Zealand. You will need to confirm prices with your collection service.

Farmer options
Please carefully consider appropriate disposal methods for the disposal of dead animals available to you. The farming sector gained huge public respect through the COVID-19 lockdown. It is important that individual farmers retain the respect of their peers and the livestock sector maintaining the respect of the public.

Pick Ups

  • If rendering services are still available in your area, where possible please use this service.
  • We suggest you talk to your neighbors and farmers in your area, work together on suitable solutions.
  • If pet food services are available in your area (limited regions), it may be possible to plan ahead and use these services.
  • If collection is not a viable option please carefully consider and choose the most appropriate method(s) to responsibly dispose of slinks, and casualty animals.

Approved Landfills
Secure and appropriate transportation of dead animals to approved landfill facilities may be an option. You will need to identify and confirm that a local landfill site will accept your waste before considering this option. Odour, visual effects, and containment of waste will need to be managed during transportation.

On-Farm Disposal
If on-farm disposal of slinks and casualty cows is required then, again consider your options. DairyNZ has a generic fact sheet which may be of use. 

On-farm Burial
There are areas of your farm where burial may not be appropriate due to a high-water table, soil types, and/or proximity to waterways. Local and Regional bylaws may also apply, so you will also need to check with your local council.

Small diggers can be hired to assist. Cover deadstock with soil regularly or tarpaulins so that odour and visual effects are managed.

This is a relatively new option available to farmers, however, it needs to be done correctly with the right set up to avoid problems. The end product cannot be spread on pasture. See the DairyNZ website for more information. 

Burning may be an option, Burning is prohibited by some regional councils and other regional councils have rules governing the burning of animal carcasses, particularly around proximity to housing and sensitive areas (more than 100m away) and offensive smells drifting beyond your property boundary (refer to your Regional Council – the first place to look is in their Air Quality Plan if they have one)

Your industry bodies will keep you updated as more information becomes available.