24 hours to stop indoor dairy farming in NZ!Home » Blog » Annabel McAleer » 24 hours to stop indoor dairy farming in NZ!
Feel strongly that cows shouldn't be kept in sheds, or that effluent shouldn't be spread over the McKenzie Basin? You have 24 hours to make it stop!
Three big dairy companies have applied for resource consents for 16 new dairy farms in Canterbury's McKenzie Country. The farms will house cows indoors, in 'cubicles', for eight months of the year, and will discharge thousands of litres of effluent onto land every day. You have 24 hours to oppose the application.
Here's the run-down from The Press:
Three companies want to build massive dairy farms in the Mackenzie Basin, where cows would live in "cubicle" stables most of the time.
Opponents warn the plan will tarnish New Zealand's environmental reputation.
Proposals by the three companies for resource consents for 16 new dairy farm developments managing nearly 18,000 cows housed in cubicle stables are before Environment Canterbury (ECan).
Under the plans, cows will be confined in cubicle stables 24 hours a day for eight months of the year, from March to October, and allowed outside for 12 hours a day from November to February.
If you feel strongly that cows shouldn't be kept in sheds, or that effluent shouldn't be spread over the McKenzie Basin, go to one of the links below and make a submission. It takes just five or ten minutes, and must be done by 5pm tomorrow, Friday 18th December.
- Applicant: Williamson Holdings Limited
- Applicant: Southdown Holdings Limited
- Applicant: Five Rivers Limited
Here's how I made my submission.
First, I procrastinated for days, since I thought it would be difficult and time-consuming, and I really hate filling in forms.
Next, I realised I was about to run out of time, so I randomly clicked on one of the links above and spent five minutes filling it the online form. It couldn't have been easier.
I have no idea if what I wrote used the approporiate language or structure, but I'll paste it below to give you an idea of the level at least one other person's submission was made at!
Reason Comment: The use of cubicles will damage New Zealand's international
reputation for quality free-range, grass-fed beef.
Discharging solid effluent onto land and up to 560,000 litres per day of diluted
dairy effluent onto land is environmentally damaging, particularly in terms of the
significant amount of greenhouse gases released by the effluent. Technology exists
to convert effluent for biogas or biofuel for farm use, or to inert biochar, and I
believe this should be a requirement for consent (please click here for an example
located in Canterbury).
Decision Comment: I wish the council to deny consent on the basis that the
farm's effluent management plans are insufficient, environmentally harmful and
have been superseded by superior technologies that must first be thoroughly
Your own comments could refer to animal welfare, diet, or preserving the fragile nature of the McKenzie Basin, or whatever it is that bothers you personally about the proposals. There are many reasons to be concerned about the proposals.
The Green Party has a thorough guide to making a submission, here. It makes the important point: "Environment Canterbury can most readily consider submissions about water quality and the environment within its scope. Please consider giving these issues weight in your submission."
And MfE has some tips on making submissions, here.
You could spend a few hours writing a technically perfect submission, but if you've only got five minutes, then I reckon you should just head straight for one of the links above and add your voice to the chorus. Better to do it quick than not do it at all!
Good luck! Feel free to post your own submission comments below, to give other would-be submitters a bit of inspiration and guidance.