Media release

Southern dairy farmers urged to ‘stand stock’ before annual Moving Day

Monday 27 May 2024

Whether farmers are shifting herds by walking on the road or stock transporter, in both cases animals should be taken off green feed onto a hay/straw or silage diet for 4-12 hours, with water before travel.

Southern dairy farmers are being reminded to undertake best practices to safeguard water quality and transport safety when the annual stock Moving Day begins shortly.

Moving Day for stock starts from June 1 and continues for several weeks, a tradition where dairy cow herds and farmers move between farm properties, either by road or more often by stock truck.

Otago Regional Council’s Manager Compliance Tami Sargeant says the emphasis is on farmers’ standing their stock the day before moving, and for trucking companies to use the roadside effluent disposal sites.

She says effluent from stock trucks can put road users and adjacent waterways at risk and asks farmers to stand off their animals, for at least 4 to 12 hours, prior to transporting them.

Effluent can get onto roads and become a safety hazard for other drivers and can run off into roadside drains or pollute adjacent waterways, she says.

The ORC and several local authorities now operate nine roadside effluent disposal sites across Otago, with six disposal sites on State Highway 1 between Pukeuri and Clinton, and three on inland highways, at Raes Junction, Brassknocker Rd and Tarras.

Farmers walking their herd along a road should keep them away from roadside drains, and avoid disturbed soil, to stop effluent entering waterways.

Standing off green feed

Cows should be stood off green feed for at least four hours, but no more than 12 hours, before they are loaded onto trucks, which helps reduce the amount of effluent on trucks.

For welfare reasons, DairyNZ also recommends that a grazed-out paddock or stand-off pad are better options for standing stock, than a concrete surface, as the latter can contribute to tender feet and are not good for stock to lie down on.

For general enquiries, contact the ORC Environmental Implementation Team Catchment Advisors on 0800 474 082, or email them at

Please report stock truck effluent spills into waterways to the ORC’s Pollution Hotline on 0800 800 033

You can learn more on our stock truck effluent page here.


DairyNZ link to Transporting stock - DairyNZ | DairyNZ