• Intensive dairy farming

    The traditional method of pasture based dairy farming is under threat from intensive indoor (zero grazing) systems.

    Intensive dairy farming
  • Zero grazing

    Cows in these farms would have little or no outdoor access and effectively become indoor milking machines. Image ©Animals Angels

    Zero grazing
  • High yields

    A dairy cow would normally produce 4 litres of milk a day. In intensive systems it could be over 5 times as much, which places huge stress on the cow.

    High yields
  • Poor welfare

    High yielding cows are prone to painful lameness, loss of body condition and infertility.

    Poor welfare
  • Cows Belong in Fields

    We believe all cows should be given pasture access during the dry, summer months. Take action

    Cows Belong in Fields

Intensive dairies

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.

Take action

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.

Timeline

April 2012
Supporting Better Dairy

Supporting Better Dairy coalition formed

Compassion joined forces with Ben & and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), under the campaign banner of ‘Supporting Better Dairy’


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