Greenpeace Aotearoa has launched a petition calling on the Government to halve the dairy herd, saying that cow numbers are too high for rivers, the climate and people’s health to sustain.
Greenpeace Aotearoa lead agriculture campaigner Christine Rose said “Ardern’s nuclear free moment is drowning in a piss-apocalypse from the plague-size dairy herd. Industrial dairy is New Zealand’s biggest polluter because there are just too many cows. The climate and biodiversity crisis requires the Ardern Government to reduce the size of NZ’s grossly bloated huge dairy herd.”
Over the last thirty years, the New Zealand dairy herd has almost doubled. In some areas, the increase was even more extreme. Canterbury’s dairy herd increased by 10 times and Southland’s by 16 times since 1990.
“Synthetic nitrogen fertiliser and imported feeds such as palm kernel expeller drive this explosion in cow numbers.
“The Ardern Government must protect Aotearoa’s environment and halve the dairy herd. And support farmers’ transition to more plant-based, lower impact regenerative organic farming,” said Rose.
The ‘Halve the Herd’ petition launch comes after Greenpeace’s water testing found two thirds of sampled bore water were above the cancer risk limit for nitrate.
“Access to safe drinking water is a basic human right. Yet synthetic nitrogen fertiliser and urine from too many cows are leaching dangerous levels of nitrate into drinking water. We need to cut this nitrate pollution at source by halving the dairy herd.
“A cleaner, regenerative organic food system is right around the corner if our political leaders phase out synthetic nitrogen fertiliser and invest in the regenerative organic farming revolution” said Rose.
Call on the Government to halve the dairy herd to reduce the impacts on freshwater, biodiversity, climate and people’s health.