Time to take stock of cow numbers to stop water pollution

It’s time for a moratorium on new dairy farms and to start thinking about how to reduce the number of cows on our paddocks to halt water pollution, the Green Party said today.

“Even Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy has admitted that there’s no room for more cows because of the impact they have on our rivers, lakes and aquifers,” said Green Party primary industries spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“The Government has all the reports it needs to show the dire state of our waterways, now it just needs to take action.

“We need a government that will provide leadership and a stronger regulatory framework to clean up our waterways, and prevent pollution from degrading them in the first place.

“While the two per cent of New Zealand’s water in urban catchments may be more polluted than in rural areas, rural waterways are declining and declining fast. But we can do something about it.

“We can have a thriving primary sector and a clean environment. We can diversify and focus on more arable crops, horticulture, forestry and adding value rather than increasing milk production, which the National Government has encouraged.

“The Green Party has the solutions to cleaning up our polluted water, while growing a thriving primary sector. We can start with a moratorium on new dairy farms, looking at how we can farm with fewer animals on the land, and by instituting a scheme like Ireland’s Origin Green scheme, where sustainably produced products attract a premium,” said Ms Sage. 

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