Stock Exclusion Regulations
The Stock Exclusion Regulations outline national rules that apply to the exclusion of stock from waterways. The overall Stock Exclusion Regulations came into effect on 03 September 2020 but the rules contained within it will come into effect over a period of time over the coming years.
Dairy, dairy support and beef cattle, pigs and deer must be excluded from wetlands, lakes and rivers with a bed greater than or equal to one metre wide.
Minimum setbacks of three metres between stock and the bed of a lake or river will be required, except where permanent fences or riparian planting is already in place to exclude stock.
Dairy, dairy support and beef cattle, and pigs must not cross lakes and rivers more than twice per month unless by way for a dedicated bridge or culvert (except for where this in impracticable due to a highly mobile bed). Where stock are crossing waterways (in accordance with the rules) they must be actively driven through the water.
Dates for compliance vary according to stock type and terrain.
Exclusion from rivers and lakes:
- 03 September 2020 – for dairy, dairy support and beef cattle, pigs and deer in new pastoral systems (where the grazing of the pastoral system commenced from/after the 03 September 2020)
- 01 July 2023 – for dairy cattle and pigs on all slopes, and for beef cattle and deer grazing annual forage crops or irrigated pastures.
- 01 July 2025 – for dairy support cattle on all slopes, beef cattle and deer from low slope land (see MfE low slope land maps).
Exclusion from wetlands (applies to all dairy, dairy support and beef cattle, pigs and deer):
- 01 July 2023 – exclusion from natural wetlands identified in an operative regional plan, district plan or regional policy statement as at 03 September 2020
- 01 July 2025 – exclusion from natural wetlands more than 500m2 in area on low slope land or any natural wetlands that support a population of threatened species. Councils are required to map these wetlands under the National Policy Statement – Freshwater Management.
Use of bridges/culverts for stock crossings (applies to dairy and dairy support cattle, and pigs):
- 01 July 2023 – for dairy cattle and pigs
- 01 July 2025 – for dairy support cattle
Refer to the Ministry for the Environment Stock Exclusion factsheet for further detail.
If you have further questions, please contact our compliance team on 0508 800 118. We may not be able to answer all questions immediately, however we will let you know when the information becomes available or redirect you if necessary.