WSPA campaign - Keep Cows on Grass

On 25 October, the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) launched Keep Cows on Grass its first Europe-wide campaign calling for an end to industrial dairy farming.

WSPA CEO, Mike Baker says: “The worrying progress towards industrial dairy farming in Europe means, we could stop seeing cows grazing in fields. Cows grazing are a vital part of our heritage in Europe and we want to keep it that way. WSPA wants to see dairy farmers survive and thrive and we are campaigning for the end of the trend towards intensification”.

The campaign launches with billboard and press advertising asking: Where does my milk come from? to raise this important issue direct with consumers. WSPA puts the welfare of cows and the livelihoods of farmers at the heart of its campaign. In some countries, up to 67% of all cows never feel the sun or chew a blade of grass (Denmark).

This reality is contrary to what consumers think. Half the people polled(1) on the question of Where does my milk come from? in Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and the UK believed that their milk came from cows grazed in fields. But with increasing numbers kept in industrial dairy farming systems, where they are permanently housed inside and are not allowed to graze naturally, this is not the case.

This is an issue on which the public feel strongly. In a separate poll(2), almost 9 out of 10 respondents (89%) said they believed cows should have access to pasture during the warmer months of the year, and just under 7 out of 10 (66%) said they would ‘avoid’ or ‘try hard to avoid’ milk that came from cows kept permanently indoors without access to grazing on pasture.

There is currently no EU legislative welfare protection for cows and this campaign begins our drive to raise awareness of this issue and to halt the drive towards intensive farming in favour of sustainable, humane pasture-based systems.

We are calling on consumers across Europe to ask the question ‘Where does my milk come from?’ To find out more visit here.

For further information or interviews with Mike Baker, WSPA’s CEO, contact Pushpa Dougall on + 44 (0) 20 7239 5566 or by email pushpadougall@wspa-international.org

  1. Brainjuicer Research based on an opinion poll of over 2,000 adults from the UK, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, and Sweden. Fieldwork was undertaken in August 2012. The surveys were carried out online.
  2. YouGov research based on an opinion poll of over 10,362 adults in total from the U.K. (2120), Denmark (2011), Germany (2124), Netherlands (2008), and Sweden (2009). Fieldwork was undertaken between 10th – 16th October 2012. The surveys were carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all adults (aged 18+) in each country.

PUBLICATION DATE

29 Oct 2012

AUTHOR

World Society for the Protection of Animals