Factory Farming: Dairy

"The industry has come up with various euphemisms to make factory farms sound acceptable - describing them as "off- pasture management" systems or "indoor housing". But the reality is factory farms are large-scale industrial operations where cows are kept indoors for up to 10 months a year, forced to stand in overcrowded conditions on concrete floors all day, and milked by robotic milking machines."

Sue Kedgley

To most New Zealanders, the idea of moving cows into factory farms is horrifying. The practices of an outdoor dairy farm are off-putting enough, but indoor farms are a whole new level of cruelty.

With expansions in dairy farming, the number of cows has increased dramatically and so has the continual development of ever more intensive farming methods. Some farms have become huge corporate structures, where there is scant regard for the welfare of these gentle animals.

Many people know of ‘cow cubicles' due to the publicity raised about the proposed farms in the environmentally sensitive MacKenzie Basin area in the South Island. While this proposal was shelved and the companies went bust, it was a sign of things to come.

Indoor cow farming is growing in New Zealand. At the time of a 2015 estimate, there were around 650 ‘free stall cow barns’ in New Zealand. Despite the name, these cows are anything but free.

Cow Cubicles: The Different Systems

How Cows Suffer

Be a friend to cows
Cut out or reduce dairy in your diet - find out why and how.

Outdoor Dairy
Find out why the life of an outdoor cow is far from idyllic.