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."
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.
- Read the planning documents for the Powys mega-dairy here
- If you live in the vicinity of this, or any, planned factory farm, find out how to object to the planning application
- Read about our successful campaign against factory dairy farms like the proposed Nocton Dairies farm
- Watch the BBC interview with Powys farmer Fraser Jones
- Read Chief Executive Philip Lymbery's blog article on this latest proposal.