'Absolute bollocks': Rural Exchange host's shock at rogue stock agents behaviour

Revelations of unethical behaviour by some New Zealand stock agents have shocked Rural Exchange show host Hamish McKay.

Federated Farmers wants to see compulsory regulation for the industry, after many years of discussion about the issue.

Meat & Wool chairperson Miles Anderson told the Magic Talk show a current code of conduct covering stock agents isn't working as it voluntary, and only covers around 65 percent of stock transactions.

"Less reputable agents - a minority in the industry - are unlikely to become voluntary members and even if they do, when trouble arises they can simply resign and continue to trade," he said.

He said there were too many rogue agents who were taking advantage of the situation, and trading for themselves.

Miles Anderson said it is time for stock agents to be regulated.
Miles Anderson said it is time for stock agents to be regulated. Photo credit: File

"They have their own property and buying stock off farmers, who are unaware they are going directly to an agents property - sitting there for a few days then traded again, so the agent is essential  double dibbing on the deal," said Mr Anderson.

A well as fraudulent behaviour, he said the issue had serious biosecurity implications.

"There is also angst that some agents have been moving stock out of M bovis areas from the South Island to the North Island."

He said they have been putting them on a property for a few days, then selling them on as coming from a North Island province.

"There is one case where that sort of behaviour bought M Bovis into Northland."

The examples shocked McKay, who labelled it as appalling behaviour.

"I have heard about some shonky deals about people shifting stock for two or three days, but some of that stuff is just absolute bollocks," he said.

Miles Anderson said a fully enforceable and regulated industry would be able to stop agents trading, and potentially be able to impose redress.

"No one likes more rules and regulation but to protect all parties in the sale of livestock we believe it is the best way forward.

The vast bulk of stock and station agents operate in an exemplary manner. We need regulation to be fair, to give them protection as well, not just the farmers."

Watch the full interview with Miles Anderson.

Hamish McKay and Richard Loe host Rural Exchange, 6-8am Saturday and Sunday on Magic Talk with Carter's Tyre Service. 

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