Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


‘Mud farming’ clear evidence of too many cows - Greenpeace

Greenpeace Aotearoa is launching a new petition calling for an end to mud farming - intensive winter grazing. The petition comes as new images of cows belly-deep in mud this winter provide further evidence that the country is trying - and failing - to sustain too many cows.

Aerial footage of Southland and Otago paddocks, released by river advocates Geoff Reid and Matt Coffey, shows intensively-grazed cows crammed in paddocks churned to mud, and significant amounts of sediment washing off paddocks into rivers.

Greenpeace senior agriculture campaigner Christine Rose says intensification of dairying over the past three decades has pushed cows into areas of land that simply cannot support that many animals.

"Whether it’s winter paddocks churned to deep mud, sick and slimy rivers or nitrate contamination seeping into our drinking water, the effects of too many cows are plain to see," says Rose.

Southland has seen a steep rise in the number of dairy cows during the past few decades. In 1990 there were around 38,000 cows. By 2019 there were 636,000 cows - a 1584% increase.

"The simple fact of the matter is, New Zealand can not sustain this many dairy cows. That’s why we’ve seen a massive increase in the amount of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser to rapidly grow grass to feed increasing numbers of cows," says Rose.

"Then winter comes along and many of these cows are intensively grazed until they’re wallowing and sometimes calving deep in mud. It’s terrible for both the cows and the soil. When cows are kept on winter crops until the soil is bare, there is no vegetation to hold soil in place or suck up nitrogen-rich cow urine. The effluent and sediment then contaminates rivers and groundwater.

"We can see the devastating effects of too much nitrate run-off from intensive dairying in our sick and slimy rivers, and in nitrate-contaminated drinking water linked to bowel cancer and premature births.

"For healthy land, healthy water, healthy animals and healthy communities, we need to lower cow stocking rates and move to diverse, regenerative organic farming that works with nature, not against it."

Footage and images can be found here:


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Juggling Covid, And France’s Trump-like Populist

It is the age-old Covid problem. How to balance the needs for firms (and schools) to re-open against the need to protect public health. In the past, the balance has been struck by insisting that the best public health outcomes also deliver the best economic (and educational) outcomes. While that may still be objectively true, it is no longer a politically tenable position... More>>

Covid-19 & Education: NCEA And NZ Scholarship Exams To Proceed

NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams will proceed, including in areas where Alert Level 3 has been in place, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health have been working together to ensure exams can be managed in a safe way, so students have the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned... More>>


Government: New Zealand Secures Historic Free Trade Deal With The United Kingdom
New Zealand and the United Kingdom have agreed in principle the details of a historic Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which will further accelerate our COVID-19 economic recovery say Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor... More>>


Ombudsman: Launches Investigation Into MIQ Booking System
The Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier is launching a broad investigation into the Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) booking system after receiving hundreds of complaints... More>>


National: Launches Back In Business Plan

Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins has today launched National’s detailed plan to save livelihoods and unleash our economy in the face of the huge damage being wrought by the extended Covid lockdown... More>>


Pay Cheque To Pay Cheque: Half A Million New Zealanders Have No Savings
New findings from the Consumer NZ sentiment tracker found that 15% of New Zealanders had no savings, and a further 27% were anxious about their level of savings and would like to have more tucked away... More>>

Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>

Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>




InfoPages News Channels