Horizons Regional Council has opened consent applications for new or expanded intensive winter grazing activity.
Intensive winter grazing is a farming practice, where livestock progressively graze areas planted with fodder crops.
According to the Ministry for Primary Industries, if done too extensively, the practice can have serious effects on animal wellbeing and freshwater and estuary health.
According to Horizons' regulatory manager Greg Bevin, while the Government has delayed introducing some elements of the regulations surrounding the practice, that does not apply to new or expanded consents.
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"These regulations came into effect this month and consent applications, if required, will need to be lodged with Horizons before October 31, 2021," Bevan said.
The council said that as a trade-off for the Government delaying the introduction of new regulations, regional councils and the farming sector have agreed to make improvements to current practices in the meantime.
As well as a promise to improve the practice, Horizons will also be implementing a monitoring programme. The results of this programme are required to be submitted to government quarterly.
"Horizons already has one of the larger State of the Environment monitoring programmes nationwide and this is proposed to increase through council's 2021-2031 Long-term Plan."
As well as the standard application process, Horizons has also established a Paddock Risk Assessment Tool which will assist farmers to determine paddock suitability. The tool can be accessed on the council's website.