Clean shift encouraged

The ORC reminds  farmers to rest stock and clean equipment before Gypsy Day. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
The ORC reminds farmers to rest stock and clean equipment before Gypsy Day. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.

Farmers and transporters moving stock in coming weeks are being warned to ensure they do not spill effluent on the Taieri's roads and to clean equipment before the move.

As part of the annual switch to winter grazing and farm changeovers, known as ''Gypsy Day'', taking place from now until early June, many sharemilkers shift stock between the Taieri, Southland, Central Otago and North Otago.

The Otago Regional Council is urging dairy farmers transferring stock to ensure animals are prepared properly before cartage, by standing them off green feed overnight.

''Farmers and truckies should do the right thing,'' council environmental monitoring and operations director Jeff Donaldson said.

''Standing stock before moving them and avoiding overflow from truck effluent storage tanks are simple steps to avoid creating messy and potential dangerous driving conditions.''

Motorists often complained to the council after their cars were soiled from effluent spilled on Otago roads.

The council had sent information on the region's seven effluent storage tank sites to all Otago and Southland stock-moving companies, and expected truck drivers to empty effluent into them, he said.

Farmers needed to ensure equipment they were moving was clean, to avoid tracking plant pests from one farm to another.

They also needed to keep stock away from waterways.

• Motorists can report stock effluent spills to the regional council pollution line 0800 800-033.

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