Sunday, June 16, 2013

Zero Grazing

How can anyone in their right mind expect these conditions
to be hygienic and  disease free?
Since the UK government (pictured) has ignored all the scientific evidence and decided that shooting badgers can get them out of a hole of their own making I just want to pick out a couple of bits from a previous post from Worldwatch Institute and follow on with some examples:

Vital Signs 2012 also highlights the rising consumption of animal protein, as well as destructive industrial livestock practices that help make this growth possible. As more people in developing countries enter the middle class, meat consumption is rising and the intake of processed meat is shifting to unhealthy levels. Meanwhile, the expansion of factory farming to meet increasing meat demand fosters the spread of diseases such as avian influenza, swine flu, and mad cow disease.

Organic agriculture: Challenges such as rising farmland prices, inconsistencies in organic standards, and higher prices of organic foods continue to impede a broad global shift to sustainable agriculture.

Factory farming: Factory farming has contributed to a tripling in global meat production over the last four decades. It is associated with heavy use of chemical inputs, the spread of disease, antibiotic overuse and resistance, massive water consumption, and declines in human health.

In the UK most dairy cows still have access to grazing on pasture for part of the day in summer, but more cows are being kept indoors for longer, or even all year round. This is known as ‘zero grazing’, and is increasingly used in North America and parts of the UK for large and high yielding herds.

Compassion in World Farming report:

A report has recently been published by DairyCo, an organisation set up to support dairy farming, stating that pasture-based dairy is economically sustainable. This is fantastic news – backing up our argument that higher-welfare dairy farming can still deliver a decent living for farmers. Indeed figures in the report show that pasture based systems make nearly twice as much profit per litre of milk than intensive ones. This shows that pasture-based dairy is not only good for cows, but economically good for the farmer too. There is no need for a shift towards intensive zero-grazing systems.

We also have encouraging news to report on the planning application for a 1000-cow mega-dairy in Powys. The application has been ‘called in’ by the Welsh Government, after we urged them to do so. This means it will be given the proper scrutiny it deserves, and if the plans are turned down by the Welsh Assembly this could even set a precedent in the UK for this type of application. Latest news here.

And from Four Paws UK:

Since 1st of January 2012 conventional battery cages for laying hens have been banned in all EU member states. However, according to research conducted by the international animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS, farms in 12 member states are still using illegal battery cages. Countries that do not comply with the EU Directive on minimum standards for the protection of laying hens are: Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain. FOUR PAWS appreciates that several EU-countries have intensified their efforts to shut down conventional battery cages.

Meanwhile: Chickens are set to take over from cats and dogs as the favourite pet in the UK.

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