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UK Farmers’ Union Claims Farming Cows Can Be Sustainable

by | September 10, 2019

The UK’s National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has released a report claiming that animal agriculture can be part of the plan to reduce carbon emissions recently passed by the UK government.

The plan, dubbed Net Zero, aims to make the UK carbon neutral by 2050. According to the NFU report it has a plan to make the agricultural sector of both England and Wales emission neutral by 2040. The plan from the NFU is broken down into three-parts — improving farming’s productive efficiency, improving land management and changing land use to capture more carbon, and boosting renewable energy and the wider bio-economy.

The report claims that raising cows by pasture is not as destructive as factory farming, and argues that most UK cows are pasture fed from grassland that would be unsuitable for arable farming.

The NFU believes some of its goals can be reached by shifting to pasture feeding and growing biomass energy crops, as well as planting more greenery on farms to trap more of the carbon farming produces.

Cows Tags
Cows at a farm (Source: Marxstudio / Shutterstock.com)

UK National Farmers’ Union Undeterred By Cruelty Concerns

Should the NFU’s goal be achievable and accurate, it fails to address concerns raised around farming within the vegan movement — including by animal rights organization PETA.

“Animals on organic and ‘free-range’ farms often endure the same cruel mutilations — such as debeaking, dehorning, and castration without painkillers — as animals on conventional factory farms,” reads a page on the PETA website.

Despite an increasing number of people choosing to eat less meat for this and other reasons, NFU President Minette Batters seems undeterred, and says the NFU has no plans of curbing its use of animals.

“Everybody’s diet is up to individuals to choose, but there are other parts of the world that are hungry for high-quality meat,” she told The Guardian.

Do you think that emission neutral farms are possible? Let us know in the comments below!


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