Farmers close to rail trail reminded of public presence

Farmers near the Otago Central Rail Trail are being reminded they are in the public eye, following a complaint from a rail trail user about what she thought was the mistreatment of a sheep.

Rail trail trust chairwoman Kate Wilson, of Middlemarch, said the complaint had been dealt with and did not warrant further investigation or involvement by the SPCA.

But it served as a reminder to farmers that they were often in the public eye, she said.

''What farmers do isn't always understood by the people on the rail trail. Farmers need to be aware they're not necessarily in the privacy of their backyard any more.''

Cr Wilson said she would ''rather not'' disclose where the incident happened or the nature of the complaint.

The woman who complained was a visitor, and it was likely she did not have experience farming sheep.

Cr Wilson said a trustee spoke to the farmer involved and the matter was sorted to the satisfaction of all parties.

''Sometimes we have to be reminded that tourism and farming can go hand in hand, and perception is important,'' she said.

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