Not in my Cuppa campaigners met with Jim Paice MP, Minster of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) yesterday (Tuesday 7 December).
The team asked Government to do more to prevent threats posed to animal welfare and the farming industry by mega-dairies – such as the current Nocton Dairies proposal for 3,770 cows.
Following two fact-finding trips to the USA – California and Wisconsin – to examine the worst and so-called best of intensive dairy farming, WSPA firmly believes there should be a wide public and parliamentary debate around the potential impacts of producing milk in this way.
United political concern
Support from across political parties has helped keep the planning application, which threatens to change the future of farming forever in the UK, a public and political priority.
The Not in my Cuppa campaign delegation was led by Nic Dakin MP for Scunthorpe (Labour), who said: “I have been working closely with WSPA on this issue and I thank Jim Paice MP for his time and welcome his commitment to examining the scientific evidence coming from current ongoing Defra research."
WSPA UK Campaigns Manager Paivi Vahvelainen said: "WSPA is very thankful for Nic's support for this issue – he was instrumental in setting up this important meeting with Defra."
What WSPA wants from Government
- Strengthen Defra's Code on the welfare of cattle to require dairy cows to have access to pasture during the grass-growing season and to discourage the drive to excessive milk yields
- Make it clear that the government supports the UK's traditional dairy farmers and won't threaten their livelihoods by allowing a drift towards intensive factory cow systems of milk production
- Introduce a system of labelling to ensure that consumers will never be sold milk from zero-grazing systems without being warned
Paivi added: “Now is the time for the government to stand up for our existing dairy famers who rightly feel under threat from massive mega-dairies. Should these factory farms spread in Britain, they could change our dairy industry and countryside beyond recognition. We’re asking Jim Paice MP to represent WSPA and consumer opinion and take the lead in this debate."