SAFE for Animals has hit out at the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) for their "inadequate" response to eight dead rotting sheep found on a Christchurch farm.
Images and video obtained by SAFE show seven dead sheep dumped in a gorse bush and one on the edge of a paddock - all at different stages of decomposition.
SAFE spokesperson Will Appelbe told Newshub the paddock where the dead sheep lay shares a fence with a reserve and is surrounded by residential property.
Appelbe said two dozen sheep and three cattle living in the same paddock are "confronted daily by the carcases of dead sheep".
"The fact we don't know how these sheep died has raised some serious animal welfare concerns for us."
SAFE alerted MPI to the rotting farm animals as it leaves many "unanswered questions as to how they died".
MPI regional manager animal welfare and NAIT compliance Murray Pridham said in a statement to Newshub they received two separate animal welfare complaints about the grazing block.
"An animal welfare inspector attended the property to investigate. The inspector spoke to the person in charge of the animals at this property. It was found that the animals at the block were in good condition and were receiving supplementary feed on a daily basis."
Pridham said the inspector did not see any evidence of dead animals at the property, including those described as being in gorse bushes.
Newshub put that to SAFE, Appelbe said "you don't have to look far" to see the rotting sheep.
"I don't know how they would have missed it," he said.
"I find it really concerning that they did not find any evidence, that just proves that they didn't do a thorough investigation because at least one of those dead animals is in full view to the public."
Pridham said MPI tried to contact SAFE to talk about their concerns, but Appelbe told Newshub he tried to contact the inspector but they were on leave.