WSPA celebrates withdrawal of plans of UK’s first mega dairy

Not in my Cuppa

Following a recent governmental objection and sustained campaigning by WSPA UK, Nocton Dairies has withdrawn its planning application to farm 8,100 cows intensively.

WSPA UK launched it’s “Not in my Cuppa” campaign a year ago against the proposed changes in the direction of British dairy farming and were thrilled when these plans were withdrawn on Wednesday 16 February. Nocton Dairies cited the main cause for withdrawal of its application as the recent objection it received from the UK’s Environment Agency, a governmental agency responsible for environmental protection

The Agency objected on the grounds that the massive factory dairy could cause pollution of groundwater and soil surrounding the farm,. Besides our considerable animal welfare concerns which ensured our opposition from the outset, WSPA also shared this preoccupation about pollution.

WSPA research found that in the US, where mega dairies are commonplace, that many have caused lasting damage to local water tables..From an animal welfare perspective, Nocton Dairies, which would have seen an initial 3,770 cows increased to 8,100 over time, would milk cows three times daily, producing 19,300 pints of milk per head annually, Cows would have had little or no access to outdoor grass areas.

These figures compare with an average British dairy farm where typically 100 to 125 cows live and are milked twice a day, producing 12,300 pints of milk per head in a year, and spending six to a maximum eight months a year outdoors grazing on grass.

“This is fantastic news and greatly welcomed by the WSPA,” said Suzi Morris, WSPA UK Director. “While the Environment Agency’s objections were the final nail in the coffin for the Nocton plans, our own research made it clear that there were numerous reasons why Nocton should not be given the go-ahead. This is a victory for consumers, dairy farmers and, of course, the cows.”    

“We’ve won this one, but wont stop until we know that factory milk from battery cows will never be allowed in Britain,” added Morris.

The “Not in my Cuppa” campaign will not stop here. WSPA will continue to lobby the government and food and farming industries to support humane and sustainable dairy farms and ensure that mega dairies are never allowed to take hold in the UK.

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