Dairy farming in the UK

Could seeing cows grazing in fields become a thing of the past?

With the value of milk at an all-time low, dairy farmers are under pressure to use factory farming methods. This is where cows live indoors, for the majority, of their lives.

The threat of intensive dairy farming

  • Cows kept indoors all year round face a higher risk of lameness and painful udder infections.
  • Overcrowding in intensive systems can cause anxiety and aggression in cows.
  • Cows kept indoors all year round cannot express many natural behaviours.
  • Cows in factory farms are being pushed to their physical limits to produce huge amounts of milk.

Do cows have feelings?

Temperature of a cow’s nose can reveal inner emotions >>
Cow's ear positions tell us how they're feeling >>
Cow's eyes reveal how they are feeling >>

Our work to halt the spread of factory dairy farms

Not in My Cuppa

In 2010, Not in My Cuppa successfully fought a proposal to build an 8000-cow mega-dairy in Nocton, Lincolnshire.

Keeping cows on grass in Europe

In 2012, we took our campaign to Europe. Almost 300,000 European citizens called for cows to be free to graze on grass.

Helping communities affected by factory dairy farms

In 2012, members of the community of Lower Leighton, a small village in Wales, asked us for help. Despite a High Court challenge by us, the proposed 1000-cow factory dairy farm went ahead.

Full Fact Milk

In 2015, we asked for the facts about where our milk comes from. We called on farmers, supermarkets and UK Government to respond. We also wanted to champion farmers that graze their cows on grass for the majority of the year.

Buying milk? Make an informed choice

Look out for free range milk labels

Free Range Dairy Pasture Promise logo

We championed Free Range Dairy Network. Their Pasture PromiseTM label assures cows are free to graze on grass for at least 180 days and nights each year. In 2016, over 360 Asda stores across the UK started stocking Free Range Farmers milk. 

Where you can buy free range milk

Waitrose and Marks & Spencer's

Waitrose and Marks & Spencer's guarantee that their cows have grazed for at least 100 days a year. In some cases, their cows will spend longer outside depending on the weather.

Organic Milk by the Soil Association Organic Soil Association logo

Organic dairy cows spend much of their lives outdoors where they can graze on a natural diet of grass. Cows cannot be indoors all their lives under organic standards.

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