Thursday, November 29, 2018

Climate Change: Too many cows

Bad news yesterday: the number of cows in New Zealand has increased again, to almost five million. The major driver is dairy expansion in the South Island, which is in turn driven by government-subsidised irrigation. Meanwhile, we've also learned that that dairy expansion is poisoning the water in Canterbury and to the point where its now giving people cancer:

Intensive dairy farming and nitrate-laden fertiliser are contaminating the Canterbury water supply, says Fish & Game New Zealand.

It is calling for no more cows to be allowed on the Canterbury plains and for the use of fertiliser to be regulated and reduced.

The group tested 114 drinking water samples from the Canterbury plains and found that over half of them were above the trigger level for increased risk of bowel cancer.

And that's not even getting into the effects of all their shit and piss on lakes and streams, or their excessive water use.

Cows are bad for the climate, bad for the rivers, and a direct threat to human health. We need less of them, not more. And if we are to have any hope of avoiding dangerous levels of climate change, we need central and local government to step up and start regulating the size of the herd down to within safe limits.