Monday, December 07, 2009

Against industrial dairying

The Greens' Russel Norman this morning highlighted a move by dairy farmers to establish industrial dairying in the Mackenzie Basin, complete with factory farms consisting of indoor "cow-cubicles", in which cows will be imprisoned for 24 hours a day for eight months of the year. It's cruel, and its environmentally destructive; as I pointed out back in September when I first blogged about this, this will fundamentally change one of our most striking natural landscapes, compete with electricity generators for water, and pollute some of our most pristine waterways. As Norman points out, those 18,000 cows will be the equivalent of a city of 270,000 people pumping its shit straight into the Waitaki river. The result will be algal blooms, unsafe drinking water, and a general degradation of as-yet unpolluted rivers and lakes.

We must stop this. People go to the Mackenzie Country to see Aoraki / Mount Cook, not a factory farm. They go to look at the perfectly blue Lake Takapo, not a dairy effluent pond. They go to fish and swim and kayak in clean rivers, not open sewers. If we allow this project to proceed, then we can kiss all of that goodbye.

These are our rivers and our lakes. They belong to all of us. We should not let dirty greedy farmers ruin them for their own private profit. The Greens will have a submission guide up on their website later today; I urge everyone to submit on these resource consent applications, so that hopefully they will be defeated.