Search icon

Compassion debates future of dairy on British television

News Section Icon Published 17/03/2010

Compassion has taken the debate over the future of dairy farming to national television - and you will be able to see the discussion for yourself on Countryfile in the next two weeks.

On Monday 15th March, Compassion's Phil Brooke met with Peter Willes, one of the farmers at the centre of Nocton Dairies' proposal to establish the UK's largest dairy farm.

In the debate, Phil explained the profound risk to animal welfare that arose from this development, which involves industrialisation of a traditional pasture based system, with cows bred to produce excessive amounts of milk. As a result they won't be allowed to graze whilst producing milk to prevent excessive loss of weight, potentially leading to infertility and an early journey to the slaughterhouse. In short, this is no life for a cow. Compassion believes that we should breed cows which are able to maintain health and production on a grass-based diet.

This development is also bad news for Britain's hard-pressed dairy farmers - it will not just compete with imports but will put good dairy farmers, who keep their cows on pasture, under even more financial pressure. More than ever, people are concerned about farm animal welfare and, as a consequence, more animals are being kept free-range. The future of dairy is in higher welfare, outdoor systems, not intensive factory farming operations like Nocton.


The story of Nocton dairy and Compassion's perspective on the future of British dairy farming was covered by BBC Countryfile on Sunday 28th March 2010. The programme was a great synopsis of the arguments with some powerful imagery.

Available on iPlayer until: 6:59pm Sunday 4th April 2010 (starts at 9.06 minutes and lasts about 10 minutes).

Read more about the the super dairy here.


You are using an outdated browser which we do not support. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security.

If you have any further questions regarding this, or any other matter, please get in touch with us at We aim to respond to all queries within two working days. However, due to the high volume of correspondence that we receive, it may occasionally take a little longer. Please do bear with us if this is the case. Alternatively, if your query is urgent, you can contact our Supporter Engagement Team on +44 (0)1483 521 953 (lines open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm).