“The Government’s decision to cave into agribusiness and delay the implementation of critical regulations on intensive winter grazing is a bad outcome for rivers and animal welfare”, Green Party Environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage said today.
“It risks another winter where intensive winter grazing causes avoidable pollution to rivers and streams, compacted soils as well as increased emissions from over stocking. Alongside this pollution, cows will suffer in tough conditions, cramped and wallowing in mud where they can’t lie down comfortably.
“For decades, successive governments have allowed farms to be run like factories, prioritising quantity over quality. This has polluted our water, hurt our land and animals, and warmed our planet.
“The Government’s reliance on a voluntary approach by farmers, rather than enforcing rules to control harmful intensive winter grazing, is a ‘hope and pray’ approach to healthy rivers.
“There are many farmers who are at the forefront of improving farm practice and who recognise the realities of a changing climate and polluted rivers. They recognise that such intensive stocking and grazing has to end. We should bolster those farmers who want to reduce pollution and keep animals healthy, rather than allowing this practice to continue.
“We must move to more sustainable farming practices that ensure our agricultural industry is productive, sustainable, and nourishing the land it so heavily relies on”.