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Dairy Needs To Do More To Clean Up Its Act

Dairy Industry Needs To Do More To Clean Up Its Act

Forest and Bird welcomes the dairy industry’s guidelines for environmental management but says the industry needs to do more to clean up its act.

“The dairy industry could and should do more to help farmers make the dairy industry ‘clean and green’,” said Eric Pyle, Forest and Bird’s Conservation Manager. “The environmental management guidelines are a step in the right direction. But the industry needs to provide better information more quickly and provide better incentives to encourage farmers to improve environmental practice.”

A regional council memo, obtained under the Official Information Act, highlights that the dairy industry needs to do more to clean up its act. The memo states, in relation to a dairy conversion:

“It is extremely unfortunate that the dairy industry has not provided its members, present and future with comprehensive data to enable them to better predict the impacts of changed land use on the environment. These issues have been raised by Council staff for several years and are well known within the industry.”

Forest and Bird applauds the efforts some dairy farmers are making to protect the environment. “But in many parts of the country, you see cows wandering in streams, polluting the water. Yet, the solution is so simple – fence streams”, said Mr Pyle.

In the Waikato only 15 % of streams are fenced from stock. “The dairy industry has a long road to travel before it can be considered truly “clean and green. The dairy industry needs to work harder at improving its environmental performance,” said Mr Pyle.

“Slow environmental progress by the dairy industry poses a threat to New Zealand’s ‘clean, green’ image and could impact on other sectors of the economy that rely on this image. It is time for the industry to get serious about the environment – they have some distance to go,” said Mr Pyle.


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