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South Witham Dairy plan dropped

News Section Icon Published 25/06/2010

Compassion in World Farming and WSPA are thrilled with the news that the South Witham 'super dairy' plans have been dropped.

The plans for the South Witham Dairy had given rise to widespread objections from local residents, politicians and animal welfare organisations, coming hot on the heels of plans for the 8,000-cow Nocton Heath Dairy, which have been temporarily withdrawn.

Velmur Ltd, who planned to build the dairy close to the village of South Witham, near Grantham in Lincolnshire, failed to turn up at a recent village meeting designed to quell villagers' fears.

The dairy was intended to farm around 3,000 cows that would have spent the vast majority of their lives indoors, housed in cubicles, with little - if any - access to grazing. They would have run a higher risk of suffering health and welfare problems than pasture-based cows.

Based on the US industrial model, operations of this scale and structure make their profits by working their assets as hard as possible, placing enormous pressure on the cows. Antibiotics, stress, fear and aggression are a routine feature of these herds' lives.

Joyce D'Silva, Director of Public Affairs for Compassion in World Farming said: "Compassion is completely overjoyed that the South Witham Dairy plans have been dropped. It represents a significant victory for local residents and all those concerned for the environment, for the farming industry and for the wellbeing of farm animals. We hope that this sets a precedent for future planning applications concerning farming on this scale."

We will keep the pressure on

The resultant environmental impacts that this size herd would have caused for South Witham - through animal waste and additional transport - are hard to imagine.

Neither Compassion nor WSPA, whom we collaborated with, believes that this will be the end of Velmur Ltd's attempts to find a site where they can try and push through their intensive dairy proposal.

Simon Pope, WSPA UK Head of External Affairs added: "While Velmur Ltd believe they have a case for furthering intensive dairy farming in the UK, WSPA will be keeping a close eye on them and their efforts to find a 'suitable' site."

National News Coverage

Compassion and WSPA's condemnation of zero grazing dairy farms has reached the national news. Read Martin Hickman's cover story in The Independent, Compassion's media sponsors.

Learn more about Compassion's current campaign to end factory farming for dairy cows.


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