“ACT is pleased to see the majority of Kiwis back New Zealand farmers in 1News’ poll last night, now the Government needs to do the same,” says ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson Mark Cameron.

“1News asked Kiwis whether they thought we should cut our cow numbers to meet climate change targets. The masses showed they support our farmers and don’t want to see their cows culled.

“Speaking on the poll, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor appeared to support ACT’s position of keeping the national herd intact and we’re encouraged to see he might be coming round.

“Climate Minister James Shaw is more of a worry for farmers though, arrogantly saying he’s “frustrated by the simplistic nature of the debate.”

“Farmers are the ones who should be frustrated, thousands of livelihoods are on the line here and the Climate Minister won’t even dignify them with a response.

“Such drastic measures would cause economic carnage at a time when Kiwis are already struggling to put food on the table. If you think your milk and butter is expensive now, try not to think about how much more it will cost if James Shaw cuts our dairy production.

“Cutting the size of the national herd would just force production overseas to countries with poorer environmental records. It would deprive the 40 million people New Zealand farmers feed of high-quality produce and farmers of income.

“ACT says farmers shouldn’t be forced to cut the number of cows, or be forced into an emissions pricing scheme, until there are credible and practical methane mitigation technologies available.”

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Mark Cameron