To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of large-scale indoor dairies in the UK.
I recognise that the issue of large-scale dairy farming has sparked considerable debate because of its perceived impact on the environment, the welfare of cows and the potential impact on small dairy farms.
The UK’s animal welfare and environmental standards are among the highest in the world. All operational livestock farms must comply with relevant UK law, including comprehensive animal health and welfare, and environmental legislation. These apply equally to all livestock farms, regardless of scale. So long as these standards are met, the Government recognises that the UK market has a place for different production methods that will collectively enable the industry to be competitive on UK, EU and global markets.
Increasing the size of herds does not mean reducing animal welfare. More important factors are the design and construction of the units; and the level of management and skill of the stockmen.