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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dairy factory farming proposal in New Zealand condemned by the Greens...


New Zealand is on the brink of introducing factory farming of dairy cows, the NZ Green Party said today: The party condemns the proposal.

Consent applications were recently lodged with Environment Canterbury for factory-style dairy farms in the Mackenzie Basin.

Three companies plan to establish 16 new farms with nearly 18,000 cows in the area. According to the applications, all 18,000 cows will be housed in 'cubicle stables' 24 hours a day for eight months of the year, and 12 hours a day for the remaining four months.

"This is factory farming, pure and simple," Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman said.

"Proposals to keep cows in cubicles that they don't leave for eight months of the year are a radical departure from our tradition of farming stock outside and on pasture, and could do immense harm to our clean, green international brand and image.

"Once word gets out to overseas consumers that New Zealand butter comes from factory farms, there goes our competitive advantage.

"Fonterra counters 'food-miles' arguments from our European competitors by saying that our milk products are more environmentally friendly than factory-farmed milk. This proposal flies in the face of that strategy.

"It's also a chilling prospect from an animal welfare perspective."

However the proposals are still being considered and are not necessarily a faite accompli.

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