Over the last two decades, major reforms have been achieved for farm animal welfare; like Europe-wide bans on veal crates and barren battery cages. However, there is still so much more to do. And in many ways, the next steps will be that much harder. They will require a more concerted approach in key countries throughout Europe if we are to persuade Brussels to make the next big leap for animal welfare. That is why Compassion is so determined to forge into Europe. To bring the voice of the concerned citizen, the compassionate consumer to bear on those governments with the most influence, and make it stick.
Amongst the countries we are focusing on is France. I am so looking forward to soon sharing with you an interview with the person leading the charge for us in Paris, Leopoldine Charbonneaux.
Before that, I would like to share some encouraging news of how concern at the growth of industrial farming is genuinely spreading far and wide. Last Sunday, Leopoldine and her colleagues at CIWF France, joined people from across the nation in a demonstration against factory farming.
It was initiated by a local citizens group, Novissen, fighting a mega dairy project in the north of France. They are concerned for the potential impact on the landscape, on health, on the environment, on farmers and the animals. CIWF France was proud to join them and over 40 organisations in opposing a backward step for the French countryside.
Whereas pig and poultry farming in France is already appallingly intensive, the average dairy herd is still around 50 cows, often with good access to pasture. The projected dairy farm in the North of France was originally looking for planning permission to build a zero grazing unit, whereby 1,000 dairy cows would be permanently housed. Public pressure has succeeded in limiting permission to 500 cows instead of 1000.
Compassion’s new voice in Paris will continue to join those opposing mega-dairies and similar developments. We are leading new campaigns to inform the general public and authorities on the many damaging effects of intensive farming: on animals, on the environment, on farmers’ livelihoods, public health, and food quality. By raising the issues, we hope to stop French dairy farming from intensifying and following the road taken for pigs and poultry.
I look forward to sharing more news and insights into Compassion’s efforts to bring the Government in Paris on side. Look out for the in-depth interview with Leopoldine, posting soon.
Thank you as ever for your support. Together, we will continue putting the ‘world’ into Compassion in World Farming.