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Supermarkets say No to factory milk from battery cows


In a blow to plans by Nocton Dairies to build Britains biggest dairy farm at Nocton in Lincolnshire, it was revealed today that some of the UKs leading supermarkets do not even intend to stock milk produced from it.

WSPA has seen letters sent to Eric Martlew, former MP and chair of the Associate Parliamentary Group on Animal Welfare (APGAW) who wrote to the supermarkets earlier this year at the time of the original planning application.

In the responses:

       Sainsburys said I can confirm that Sainsbury’s has no plans to source dairy products from the farmWe recognise that whilst our customers are looking for good value in the current economic climate, they also favour food that is raised to high welfare standards.

       Tesco responded saying: “We have no plans to buy milk from the proposed dairy farm. The animal welfare on all farms that supply us is a top priority for us and a key driver of change in farm management practices

       M&S said “It is Marks and Spencers policy for ruminant animals to have access to grazing when possible. It was reported in yesterdays Independent that M&S had said it; ..does not buy milk from ‘super’ dairy farms and we are committed to our current pool of dedicated dairy farmers.”

       Morrisons “If such a dairy goes into production in the future we’ll consider all the evidence and then take a decision on whether or not it’s right for our business.”

       It was reported in yesterdays Independent that Waitrose would not stock the milk and is quoted as saying: A dairy of that size would not fit with the Waitrose way of doing business and I have to say… that it represents the first step along the way towards the American approach to farming, much of which is highly industrialised.”

Suzi Morris, Director of WSPA UK said; The stand being taken by some of the UKs largest food retailers is in line with consumer opinion and shows that increased awareness and concern about where our food comes from is shaping their decision making.

This is good news for consumers and good news for animal welfare. We hope the position being taken by these retailers will be reflected in a similar stand being taken by other supermarkets and that factory milk from battery cows is comprehensively rejected before it ever goes on sale.

WSPA will now contact the other main supermarkets (Co-Op, Asda, Lidl, Netto, Budgens, Spar and Aldi) to clarify their position.

About WSPA (
The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) holds consultative status at the UN and is the worlds largest alliance of animal welfare organisations, currently representing more than 1000 member societies in over 156 countries. WSPA strives to create a world where animal welfare matters and animal cruelty ends. We bring about change at both grassroots and governmental levels, to benefit animals.

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