Not only does intensive farming damage New Zealand’s international reputation, it harms our environment too.
Animal waste can be a big problem – just one cow produces 15 times more effluent than a human. Of course all farmed animals produce waste, but in overcrowded factory farms the problem is much worse. The daily pile-up of excrement can lead to serious environmental problems. Some farmers use large ponds or lagoons to hold this waste, which can then overflow into waterways. The residue of pesticides also causes health and environmental problems, as it too seeps into groundwater. A 2015 New Zealand report found that “pollution from more agricultural intensification in rural areas has become the worst threat to freshwater ecosystems.”