Dismay as factory dairy fight is lost

12 June 2014

World Animal Protection has expressed its dismay that a controversial factory dairy farm application will go ahead.

World Animal Protection has expressed its dismay that a controversial factory dairy farm application will go ahead following a High Court announcement that the animal charity lost its legal challenge against the decision of the Welsh Minister for Housing and Regeneration, Carl Sergeant AM to approve the building of a factory dairy farm next to a school in a small village near Welshpool.

After the Minister’s shock approval of plans to build the 1000-cow factory dairy farm, we filed a legal challenge seeking clarity about how the Minister had arrived at his decision.

Legal representatives for the Minister and World Animal Protection (then known as the World Society for the Protection of Animals or WSPA) attended a one-day court hearing on Thursday 5 June in Welshpool, Powys.

Simon Pope, World Animal Protection UK Director of Campaigns & Communications said: “We are truly saddened and disappointed that we’ve lost this case. We’ve been working alongside the local community on this for over two years and we can only imagine how devastated they will be on hearing this news.”

Our serious concerns about the animal welfare of the cows within this system, as well as the impact it will likely have on the local area, consumers and other dairy farmers remain. Despite the loss, the charity believes the legal fight was worth undertaking and that its actions were firmly in the public interest.

Simon went on to say: “We know that our supporters, who have been part of this fight alongside us and made their concerns about these kinds of factory dairy farms very clear, will be just as upset as we are to hear this news.

“We thank our supporters and everyone who has taken action against the spread of intensive dairy farms in the UK. We want to reassure you that we won’t give up on this issue.”

What will happen next?

We will be meeting with the worried local community in the coming weeks to help them minimise the impacts the factory dairy farm when it is built.

The animal charity will also continue pursuing our petition through the Welsh Assembly to highlight what these intensive systems mean for cow welfare and their effects on the environment, and why planning policies need to be strengthened to address the impacts of these farms.

Simon added: “People should be very concerned about what might be heading their way. Today’s ruling is truly a dark day for Wales – it would seem that people’s fears are being ignored by their elected officials. Regardless of the perceived financial benefits favoured by the Minister, World Animal Protection is concerned that cows, dairy farmers, local communities and consumers will be paying a heavy price for years to come.”

What else has World Animal Protection done to fight factory dairy farming?

  • We have held briefings in the Houses of Parliament and the Welsh Assembly to update politicians on impacts of factory dairy farming and how they can help us
  • We have gathered evidence from experts across Europe, the UK and America to support the campaign to keep cows on pasture
  • We have been working to support local opposition groups
"Regardless of the perceived financial benefits favoured by the Minister, we are concerned that cows, dairy farmers, local communities and consumers will be paying a heavy price for years to come.”
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