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Compassion celebrates "Cows Belong In Fields" success

News Section Icon Published 16/02/2011

On 16th February 2011, Nocton Dairies withdrew its controversial plans for a 'mega-dairy' in Nocton, Lincolnshire.

Compassion in World Farming, the world's leading farm animal welfare charity has campaigned vigorously against these plans.

Joyce D'Silva at Compassion said:

"If this truly marks the end of this application, then we can rejoice that thousands of dairy cows will be spared miserable lives where they would be deprived of normal opportunities for grazing in fields. This sounds like a great day for animal welfare!"

Today is a good day in the battle against the unwanted and unwarranted industrialisation of the British dairy industry - for which there was little appetite amongst the public, the local Nocton residents and the government appointed Environment Agency.

However - the campaign continues against the arguments for the industrialisation of dairy farming. Despite the overwhelming evidence against it, some, including Nocton Dairies are still advocating unsustainable and inhumane systems where huge numbers of cows are kept indoors for most of their lives.

In a recent survey, 95%* of the general public found it unacceptable to keep cows indoors permanently. More than a quarter of MPs have voiced their concerns about the industrialisation of the dairy industry already.

*Ellis et al., 2009

Compassion intends to build upon what is an obvious lack of enthusiasm for this unsustainable and damaging industrialisation model; and seeks a positive dialogue with dairy farmers, the Government and other interested parties.

Peter Stevenson, Chief Policy Advisor for Compassion in World Farming, continued:

"We recognise that UK dairy farmers still face serious economic pressures. We call on the government to set up a multi-stakeholder forum comprising of the government, the dairy industry, supermarkets, academics and animal welfare NGO's to plan a future for the UK dairy industry which is both economically viable for farmers and that also delivers high standards of animal welfare and avoids further attempts to industrialise the dairy industry."

Thank you to all the supporters who joined in this campaign with us so far. Pat Thomas, Nocton Campaign Manager, said:

"This is a real victory for those of us who believe that cows belong in fields. Although Nocton Dairies have always tried to spin their plans for the UK's first mega-dairy as 'ambitious' and 'visionary', the submitted plans showed that they had not addressed some of the most important, and indeed fundamental, environmental and animal welfare flaws in the mega-dairy system. The response was a unequivocal 'No' from campaigners like ourselves, from the Environment Agency and Anglian Water from local residents and indeed people all over the UK. Let's celebrate, but also let's not become complacent. Let's do all we can to make sure this system of farming is never allowed to operate in the UK."

Campaign Highlights:

  • More than 5,000 Compassion Supporters took action
  • 16,000 objections were lodged with North Kesteven District Council
  • Objectors included: The Environment Agency (Government appointed) and Anglian Water
  • Compassion lobbied the Government to "call in" the application and conduct a Public Inquiry
  • February 16th 2011: Nocton Dairies withdrew its planning application.

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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).