The Tenant Farmers Association has slammed suggestions that our
traditional fresh morning pint of milk should give way to a tasteless
The suggestion of a move to UHT milk is coupled with a proposed
target of reducing the methane output of dairy cows by 60 per
cent which could mean having to halve the national dairy herd.
The TFA’s spokesman on dairy farming, Jerry Rider said “This
is just crackers. At a time when consumers are rightly demanding
more in the way of local, fresh, tasty farm produce someone in
a grey suit is thinking about force feeding them an over processed
and tasteless alternative. In any case, there are big question
marks over whether the science behind the suggestion is sound.
The impacts on carbon balances are not as clear cut as is being
suggested and there are good reasons to suggest that the switch
could lead to a net increase in carbon emissions.”
“The proposal for methane reduction would require fewer,
higher yielding cows to reduce the amount of methane produced
per unit of output. However, this is likely to increase carbon
emissions since these cows would have to be housed all the time
due to their feed and management requirements which could well
negate any suggested methane benefits. By 2020 there will be
a conflict between arable land used for food or fuel production.
With only 6.5 million hectares of land suitable for arable production,
there will not be enough land to meet the cereal demands from
humans and livestock. Milk and meat must therefore come from
production systems that rely upon the 12 million hectares of
grassland which also has enormous carbon sequestration benefits,” said
“Dairy farming on grass-based systems is one of the most natural, environmentally
sensitive activities that takes place in our countryside. The environmental knock
on effects of a major reduction in our dairy herd would be horrendous not to
mention the impact on our nation’s food security which is vital in these
changing times,” said Mr Rider.
“Civil Servants in DEFRA have told me that the suggestions are for discussion
only and they were put out as a ‘bit of an Aunt Sally’. I hope therefore
that together with my Industry colleagues, we can make certain that this particular “Aunt
Sally” will be knocked well and truly off her perch.” said Mr Rider.
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