Cows Belong in Fields. That is the simple premise behind Compassion in World Farming’s dairy campaign. And we are working to ensure that all cows have access to fields and pasture rather than being permanently housed with thousands of other cows, confined in giant sheds and milked three times a day - as they would potentially be in mega-dairies.
Our work on dairy cows is two-fold: within the European Union (EU) we seek to secure policy changes that will improve the welfare of all the EU’s dairy cows. In the UK we are working to ensure that all UK cows have pasture access and we peacefully oppose mega dairy applications.
What we are doing
Dairy truth: EU dairy investigation
In Summer 2012, Compassion in World Farming’s investigation team went undercover in Germany, Denmark and Spain. Some of the problems affecting Europe’s dairy cows are shocking.
- Find out more about the investigation, and read eyewitness accounts.
- Watch the film and take action to protect our diary cows.
The need for European legislation
In 2012, Compassion formed a coalition with ice cream producers Ben and Jerry’s (a winner of Compassion’s Good Dairy Award) and The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) to work, under the banner of Supporting Better Dairy.
Our ask: that the European Commission introduce an EU Dairy Cow Welfare Directive that will aim to protect the welfare of over 23m dairy cows. By ensuring:
- Good Housing
- Good Feeding
- Good Health
- Cows being able to express their natural behaviours
In October 2013, a petition containing almost 300,000 names was handed to the European Commission to demand the urgent introduction of legislation to protect the welfare of dairy cows. You can read more about this event here.
The campaign for pasture access and against mega-dairies
‘Cows belong in Fields’ was the name of our campaign against Nocton Dairies – the UK’s first proposed mega-dairy. The simple premise of the campaign was so successful that we have now adopted the ‘Cows Belong in Fields’ name for our entire UK dairy campaign. Wherever possible we oppose mega dairy applications and we continue to work to ensure that all cows have access to pasture.How you can oppose mega dairies
Compassion in World Farming believe that all cows should have access to pasture, at least during the grass growing season and during the rest of the year if the weather remains sufficiently dry.
Supporting Better Dairy coalition formedCompassion joined forces with Ben & and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), under the campaign banner of ‘Supporting Better Dairy’
How to oppose planning applications
If you are a UK resident, you have the power to influence planning decisions by submitting an objection to your local authority.Read more »
In February 2011, after more than a year of campaigning by Compassion and other local and national organisations, Nocton Dairies withdrew its plans for a 3,700 cow zero-grazing farm at Nocton Heath in rural Lincolnshire.Read more »
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Help us end factory farming
EU dairy farming investigation
In the summer of 2012, Compassion in World Farming’s investigation team went undercover in Germany, Denmark and Spain. What they found was shocking.
Welfare issues for dairy cows
Intensive dairy farming results in an increasing number of welfare problems for dairy cows.
Higher welfare for dairy cows
Find out about the systems that take into account the welfare of the cow.
Cows belong in fields. We have known it for a long time. And the cows agree!