Nocton Dairies announced today the revised planning application that could see just under 3800 cows living in indoor sheds for most of their lives. The applicants have reduced the numbers of animals by nearly half due to pressure from animal welfare groups and consumers but insist that they have every intention to bring up the numbers over the years.
Big isn’t always best
The new plans still fail to address many fundamental issues and the UK is facing a “watershed”moment in the future of British farming.
The scale of the development is bigger than anything in Western Europe and modelled on the gigantic intensive mega-dairies of the USA, where cows have limited or zero access to pasture, and a reduced lifespan due to breeding for excessive milk yields.
The cows would only have limited access to outdoors in outdoor paddocks but not graze on grass.
Suzi Morris, WSPA UK Director, said: "Mega-dairies such as that proposed at Nocton pose a huge risk to animal welfare, the environment, our countryside and our farmers.
Just last week I visited some of the US mega dairies that Nocton Dairies is modelled on. These are factories, not farms and the US is waking up to the fact that pasture based systems are better for animal welfare, better for food security, better for the environment”.
Top charities support campaign
WSPA has joined forces with some of the UK’s most prominent charities – Compassion in World Farming, Friends of the Earth, CPRE, Soil Association and 38 Degrees - to warn that allowing the construction of the UK’s first mega dairy will open the floodgates to more industrial dairy units and take British farming in an unsustainable, uneconomic and unethical direction.
We are calling for the Department of Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to lead a debate about the issue, involving the dairy industry, small and large-scale dairy farmers, environmental and animal welfare groups, retailers and consumers.
Not in your cuppa?
A recent Ipsos MORI survey, commissioned by WSPA showed 61% of the British public would not knowingly buy milk from intensive dairies. Yet if Nocton Dairies application is approved in the next few months, consumers won’t know if the milk their drinking comes from the mega dairy or not.
If you want to show your support and say no to factory milk from battery cows visit www.notinmycuppa.com to hear how