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Move from ‘Clean and Green’ to Mega Farms Spells Disaster

Move from ‘Clean and Green’ to Mega Farms Spells Disaster

The age of mega factory farms is beginning, warns advocacy group SAFE. One of the world’s largest dairy factory farms has opened up right here in New Zealand. This is part of an alarming trend towards massive factory farms which SAFE says could cause damage to New Zealand’s international reputation and prove disastrous for animal welfare.

“What we’re seeing is a move towards mega-farms just like you see in China or the States,” says SAFE campaign officer Shanti Ahluwalia. “We get reports from overseas that are quite horrific in terms of animal welfare, and it's clear that there really is nothing to stop those same types of farms starting up here.”

This new dairy mega-farm will eventually house about 1500 cows.

“Despite industry claims of high welfare, these factory farms are quite bad for the cows,” says Mr Ahluwalia. “They suffer from increased rates of mastitis (a painful udder infection) and lameness. There are also a number of behavioral concerns.” This is backed up by the research the government is using.

Claims about helping the environment also don’t hold up- the current strategy for the dairy industry will increase emissions by at least 60%.

“It’s not right for the animals, it's not right for the environment, and it’s not right for New Zealand. If we allow these mega-farms to start up in New Zealand, we are going to lose a precious part of what it means to be a Kiwi. It could also be hugely damaging to our international reputation. Overseas we’re regarded as the one country where cows are able to graze freely.”


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