Search icon

Compassion opposes Powys Mega Dairy

News Section Icon Published 26/08/2010

US-style rotary milking system
(click to view)

Compassion in World Farming has waged a successful campaign against the so-called 'mega dairy' to be built in Nocton, Lincolnshire. The proposed dairy would have housed 3,700 cows indoors in cubicles with only very limited time to graze outdoors. If successful the owners planned to expand the herd to more than 8,000.

As feared, another 'mega dairy' has been proposed, following in Nocton's footsteps. This new proposal - allowing 1,000 cows to be kept intensively indoors in Powys, Wales - causes us major concerns and we are lodging an objection to it.

Compassion's Chief Executive, Philip Lymbery, said: "Regardless of the amount of cows - be it 8,000 or 1,000 cows - this is factory farming and it is abhorrent, unnecessary and cruel."

Welfare issues

Cows farmed intensively like this are bred to produce unnaturally large amounts of milk which can make them more susceptible to health problems such as lameness, mastitis, poor body condition and infertility. To maintain these excessive yields of milk without damage to their health they have to be fed an unnaturally concentrated diet which leaves them little time for grazing. According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), they state "with increasing production, cows need to spend more time eating and thus have less time available for other activities, and may not be able to allocate time enough to fulfil their need for important activities such as resting."

In such 'mega dairies', the cows will be kept almost exclusively indoors with little or no access to the outdoors at all. The British public don't expect their milk, cheese, yoghurt and butter to be produced in this cruel and unnatural way and nor should they.

This is why we hold as our overriding mission and aim, a pledge to end factory farming. Compassion believe we should breed cows that can sustain production in outdoor pastures without health and welfare problems.

We need a balance which provides affordable milk for consumers, a decent living for dairy farmers and a good free-range life for the cows.

We urge those living in the local area of Leighton, Powys, to oppose the planning permission of these so-called 'mega-dairies' and for consumers across the UK and Europe to buy only organic milk, cheese, yoghurt and butter where cows have been able to roam freely outdoors as they so rightly deserve.

What next?


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).