Farmers Guradian
Topics
Nine ways to keep your farm vehicles safe

Nine ways to keep your farm vehicles safe

Arable Farming Magazine

Arable Farming Magazine

Dairy Farmer Magazine

Dairy Farmer Magazine

British Farming Awards

CropTec

LAMMA 2018

New to Farmers Guardian?
Register Now
Login or Register
New to Farmers Guardian?
Register Now
New to Farmers Guardian?
Register Now

You are viewing your 1 free article

Register now to receive 2 free articles every 7 days
Already a Member?

Login | Join us now

Countryfile feature reignites debate on indoor dairy housing

A recent feature on BBC Countryfile sparked a national debate about indoor housing of dairy cattle.


Twitter Facebook
Twitter Facebook
Neil Darwent
Neil Darwent

A feature on Sunday’s BBC Countryfile programme comparing all-year-round housing systems for dairy cows with ‘Free Range Milk’ has reignited the national debate about indoor housing.


Countryfile presenter Charlotte Smith said, despite the public image of cows grazing in fields, ‘up to a fifth’ of the milk produced in the UK comes from cows that ‘do not graze in fields at all’ but are kept inside all-year-round.

 

Indoor


The programme featured Somerset farmer Neil Baker, described as ‘one of the first farmers in Britain to start rearing his herd indoors on this scale’.


Asked if he worried about keeping his livestock inside, Mr Baker replied: “No, not all. We need to do the best for them with their feeding, their health, their veterinary care."

 

He outlined how the farm’s housing was designed to provide the cows with a comfortable, lying area, plenty of food and water and ‘nice wide passage ways. The aim was to ‘provide an environment where the cows can behave as naturally as they can’, he said.

 

He said: “We are not hiding away, it is not a dirty secret. I don’t think it matters whether a cow is in a barn or outside. Cows don’t have some imagination of where they want to live. I personally think my cows are happy. Their happiness comes from being looked after and feeling safe.”


He said: “I don’t think it matters whether a cow is in a barn or outside. I personally think my cows are happy. Their happiness comes from being looked after and feeling safe.”

 

 

Free Range Milk


Neil Darwent, a former Somerset farmer who was driving force behind ‘Free Range Dairy’, was also featured.


He said ‘Free Range Milk’ was based on a commitment by farmers to graze their cattle outdoors for six months, with the aim of providing freedom for cows to graze, a premium for farmers by instilling value in milk and more choice for consumers.


“We are not out to criticise anybody but if we are to avoid milk becoming nothing more than a cheap, white water commodity we have to be able to differentiate milk and for me that is about differentiating the way we farm,” he said.

 

"Most people think their milk comes from cows in fields but, increasingly, less and less does and we want people to be able to make a choice."

 

Highlighting the current difficulties dairy farmers faced in getting value for their milk, he added: "If we can instil some value in that milk we believe we caqn command a bigger premium."


The feature prompted a big response on social media with some people vehemently expressing outrage at the concept of indoor housing, while others voiced their support for Mr Baker.

 


Read More

BBC's Countryfile branded 'Countryfool' in national debate BBC's Countryfile branded 'Countryfool' in national debate
Public shows 'thirst for knowledge' at Countryfile Live Public shows 'thirst for knowledge' at Countryfile Live
Raw milk vending machines helping farmers steer through the dairy crisis Raw milk vending machines helping farmers steer through the dairy crisis

Twitter Facebook
Post a Comment
To see comments and join in the conversation please log in.
Facebook
Twitter
RSS
Facebook
Twitter
RSS