Intensive dairying is causing an environmental catastrophe – even without considering the use of poisons

A report into dairying shows how the environment is being milked by the industry for all it’s worth - and that’s before taking the use of herbicides and pesticides into account, the Green Party said today.

The report released by Massey University this week shows that dairy intensification over the last 20 years has seen waterways become heavily polluted, greenhouse gas emissions increase, and biodiversity loss, among other negative impacts, and argues that the cost of cleaning up the environment may be higher than the economic benefit from dairy exports.

“Many of the environmental problems caused by dairy farming are around the high number of cows per hectare. More cows means more effluent going into waterways, more fertiliser needed that may damage the soil and increase pollution, and more greenhouse gas emissions,” said Green Party agriculture spokesperson Steffan Browning.

“These all have a big impact on human and animal health, and damage New Zealand’s clean green image. One area the report has not addressed is the use of herbicides and pesticides that other papers confirm have an impact on soil, animal and human health.

“With milk prices falling due to oversupply and softening demand, it makes no sense to be chasing these diminishing export dollars by continually harming the environment beyond its capacity to absorb the impacts.  

“Less intensive organic farming methods would increase the returns for farmers and mitigate the damage done to the environment; yet organic milk production is only 0.3% of Fonterra’s milk volume.

“Last month, Fonterra announced a 45 cent per kg of milk solids increase for organic milk.

“More investment by the Government in this area would help farmers and the environment, and maintain New Zealand’s  clean, green image – a brand we rely on to sell our goods overseas,” Mr Browning said.

 

ENDS

Latest Environment Announcements

Story

Scrapping Significant Natural Areas shows significant neglect

The Government adding Significant Natural Areas (SNAs) to its already roaring environmental policy bonfire is an assault on the future of wildlife ...
Read More

Story

Say hello to NZ’s most anti-environment government in decades

The Government is giving big industry a free pass to bulldoze New Zealand’s precious native wildlife. 
Read More

Story

Govt trashing nature for its industry mates

The Government’s repeal of the Natural and Built Environment Act is rushed, ideologically motivated, and will be hugely damaging to the health of o...
Read More

Story

Green Party calls for stronger action by Auckland Council to protect urban trees and native forest

The Green Party is calling on Auckland Council to do more to protect urban trees and housing developer Aedifice Property Group to restore and repla...
Read More

Story

You *wood* not believe it: Greens secure win for urban trees

The Green Party’s advocacy has secured an amendment to the Natural and Built Environment Bill at a crucial stage of the Parliamentary process to en...
Read More

Story

Forestry sector must compensate for slash damage

The Green Party welcomes today’s release of the report of the Ministerial Inquiry into slash and sediment, and are clear that the forestry industry...
Read More