Dairy industry animal welfare complaints are increasing while the number of recommended prosecutions aren’t. MPI data on complaints in the commercial dairy industry over the last five years show that of the 1304 complaints made from 2017 to April this year, 420 resulted in investigators uncovering an animal welfare offence. DairyNZ senior manager Helen Thoday  puts the rising number of complaints down to a rise in public expectations around animal care and strengthening laws protecting animals. The number of recommended prosecutions year-by-year remained relatively static with 11 in 2017, 13 in 2018, nine in 2019 and 10 last year. This is where SAFE CEO Debra Ashton has issues. She says the Government needs a Commissioner for Animals, and launch an independent review into the dairy industry to find out what’s really going on. Debra Ashton says it’s alarming that the number of prosecutions has remained the same and the penalties are at the lower end of the scale with too often perpetrators being allowed to continue farming animals.