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Putting other side of milk production facts
9:20am Wednesday 25th July 2012 in Letters
WE write in response to the somewhat poorly researched and frankly slanderous letter published last week regarding the fair price of milk.
We wish to point out several glaring errors starting with the myth that all dairy cows are killed after about three lactations. This shows a complete lack of appreciation for how the dairy industry works.
Yes, some animals may be removed from the herd early in their productive life, but this is by no means commonplace and, in fact, the average age for a dairy cow is seven or eight years.
Mastitis and lameness are extremely complex disease processes and cannot be simply explained by a cows’ milk yield – their environment and management play key roles.
The shooting of dairy calves takes place in the minority, not majority of herds. Many dairy calves enter the beef industry as female replacements or fattening stock.
TB is always a contentious issue but the suggestion that badger culling is solely down to the dairy industry applying pressure to the government is laughable.
There are numerous industries advising on this topic and dairy farmers do not have the monopoly.
May we remind readers that TB is also a human health risk.
Production costs have dramatically increased in recent years yet this has not been reflected in the price supermarkets will pay for their milk.
If this country ceases to produce milk, more will be imported to meet consumer demand. How does this fit with our current economic situation, employment and the loss of another baseline industry abroad, where welfare standards are below that of our own? Not to mention the food miles.
The hypocrisy of this letter is absurd; may we ask the author where he sources his ‘fresh milk’ for his B&B customers? Is he paying a fair price for it?
Vets HELEN ANDREWS, MRCVS, Pickering ; K LONGMIRE, MRCVS, Pickering; Farmers A BRADLEY, Pickering; G COCKERILL, Lockton; T & S EDDON, Saintoft; S MYERS, Rosedale; R PATEMAN, Brompton