Time For Tough Action on Dirty Dairying - Greens

NEW ZEALAND - Time for tough action on dirty dairying, say Greens The cringe factor that stops councils from prosecuting farmers for environmental pollution must stop, says Green Party Agriculture Spokesperson Nandor Tanczos.
calendar icon 3 October 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

'Dirty dairying' must be stopped

" There is no excuse for turning a blind eye to the environmental vandalism committed by a large number of dairy farmers. We all know that agriculture is a major factor in our current economic boom. We all know that some farmers are indeed excellent stewards of the environment, but the evidence of the extent of dirty dairying practices is disturbing," Nandor says.

"Environment Canterbury released its annual report on dairy shed monitoring on Monday. That report showed more than 60 per cent of dairy farms in Canterbury did not comply with their effluent discharge consents. This was worse than three years earlier. In addition, 18 per cent of Canterbury dairy farms were found to be in "significant" or "major" breach of their discharge consents in the year to July, marginally down on the figure for the year before.

"More than half of Canterbury dairy farmers are in breach of their discharge consents and nearly one in five is in significant breach. That is shocking, and it reinforces the need to put greater constraints on the expansion of dairy farming. Its time to make conversion to dairy farming a notifiable activity under the Resource Managemernt Act and to enforce the law by withdrawing the right to dairy farm from those farmers who are consistently not up to scratch."

"The country is hearing about record payouts for milk at the same time as struggling wage earners are being asked to subsidise agriculture's greenhouse gas emissions and while environmental pollution by dairy farmers goes largely unpunished.

"The incredible thing is that farming organisations are running an on-going campaign to gut the Resource Management Act. They'd get a better hearing if the dairy sector showed itself willing and able to address its own environmental performance," Nandor says.

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