Compassion in World Farming has taken another important step in our fight to stop the introduction of US-style mega-dairies to the UK, submitting a ten-page objection to a planning application for in Powys, Wales.
We have also provided support to local campaign group CALFe (Campaign Against Leighton Farm expansion), and actress Kate Ford, one of our dedicated celebrity supporters, has issued a statement to the press.
The planning application for an intensive dairy unit at Lower Leighton Farm, if approved, would see the gradual development of a 1000-cow herd. Under the plans the animals will be kept indoors year-round with only limited access to grazing. The proposed development would be around 10 times the size of the average UK dairy farm.
Philip Lymbery, CEO of Compassion comments, "Compassion in World Farming is only too aware that animal welfare concerns are not generally considered a material part of the planning process.
"However, we strongly believe it is impossible, even reckless, to endeavour to separate animal welfare concerns from the day to day operations of a dairy and from its potential impact on the environment and the local area. Our objections therefore address all these interlinked areas."
Scientific research indicates that intensive dairy systems of this type present an increased risk of a range of serious health problems in cows and moreover cannot properly satisfy the animals' behavioural needs.
Chief amongst Compassion's animal welfare objections are the limited access to outdoor paddocks, the high milk yields expected of the animals, the large herd size and the risk of introduction of disease in the local area. Environmental objections address water and air pollution.
Compassion's objection letter can be downloaded
here ( 3061.28KB).