Nonprofit groups urge UK government to help dairy farmers move away from animal agriculture
A number of animal rights groups and public figures have written to the British government calling for them to stop “artificially propping up” the dairy industry.
Some industries are struggling with demand, largely due to cafe and restaurant closures as a result of the lockdown implemented to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, with scenes of dairy milk being dumped by some farmers.
Groups such as Animal Aid, The Vegan Society and Animal Equality have now written to the government asking them to consider support for a “progressive transition over to more sustainable, healthier and planet-friendly, non-animal-based agriculture.”
Individuals such as actor Peter Egan and Professor Joachim Stoeber, PhD have also signed the letter.
It says that the dairy industry is already facing decline:
“Whilst we sympathise with all small UK businesses during this challenging time and appreciate the vital role that food producers may play, with regards to national food security, it is important to maintain perspective.
“The UK dairy industry is clearly in decline and has been experiencing a recent but significant drop in consumer demand.
“There are now fewer than 9,500 dairy farms in the UK compared with 13,000 10 years ago, and it has been predicted there will be fewer than 5,000 by 2025.”
The letter also stressed the environmental impact of the dairy production and urged ministers to support farmers away from the industry.
“We therefore urge you to seize this opportunity to provide farmers with the financial assistance they need to move away from the cruel and environmentally damaging dairy industry, to embrace sustainable plant-based agriculture or diversify to other means of sustainable land management instead.
“In addition, animal agriculture plays a central role in the causation of emerging diseases, so now is the time to stop funding it.”