'Supporting Better Dairy', a collaboration between Compassion in World Farming and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), along with ice-cream company Ben & Jerry's, has today launched a campaign to improve standards for Europe's 23 million dairy cows.
The partners have a busy week, with a briefing for media in the UK, followed by one for MEPs in Brussel. And today a cow flash mob in London's Kings' Cross station! Watch this space for a video.
No specific legislation for dairy cows
Specific EU regulations already safeguard other farm animals, but dairy cows have no such protection, meaning that welfare standards vary greatly across the EU, with some suffering from poor health, inadequate housing and lack of access to pasture.
What we plan to do about it
The campaign will run the first-ever animal welfare European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) allowing EU citizens to propose new legislation for improving standards for Europe's 23 million dairy cows.
Supporting Better Dairy hopes to raise the bar by introducing basic standard EU-wide legislation through the ECI, at a time when there is more consumer interest in dairy cow welfare than ever before.
High profile support
Actress and Compassion Patron, Joanna Lumley, is supporting the launch of this unique partnership which sees NGOs and companies working together with the public to influence European Union (EU) policy to make European cows, happy cows.
Joanna says: "This is a fantastic opportunity for people to speak up for our hard-working dairy cows and send a direct message to Brussels that they need our protection. It's our chance to say we don't want to see our cows forced indoors, unable to graze in the summer fields, and to ask the EU to give them the protection they deserve.
"Other farm animals have specific laws, designed to guarantee a minimum welfare standard for them. Dairy cows don't. If you believe they should, please sign the Citizens' Initiative and help make that happen."
Find out more:
- For further information on Supporting Better Dairy, to watch a video message from Ben & Jerry's co-founder Jerry Greenfield and to pledge your support please visit the campaign website now at happycows.eu. An ECI needs to be backed by at least one million EU citizens, coming from at least seven of the EU's 27 member states. Further information on the ECI can be found on the European Commission's website.