This weekend, the company behind plans for what is set to be Europe’s largest dairy farm – and the fifth-largest in the world – faced pressure from a herd of protesters.
PETA joined forces with Spanish organisation Asociación Hacendera and residents of the province of Soria, Spain, to oppose the plans for the monstrous farm, which, if approved, would imprison and exploit 23,000 cows in the small town of Noviercas.
We also fired off a letter to state officials highlighting the threat the plans pose to animals, the environment, and local residents.
The Truth Behind the Cow Prison Plans
If plans go ahead, cooperative Valle de Odieta will imprison and exploit 23,000 cows for their milk. As mother cows only produce milk for their babies, each one will be forcibly impregnated and suffer heartbreak as her calves are torn away from her shortly after birth. Mother cows bellow out for their young for days after separation.
They’ll be bred to produce high volumes of milk, and as a result, many will suffer from painful mastitis (udder inflammation), which leads to higher levels of pus and bacteria in their milk.
Once they’re no longer able to produce enough milk, they’ll be sent to the abattoir and killed.
Each cow is a unique individual, not a milk-making machine. They have personalities, form friendships, and even hold grudges. They experience fear and pain just as humans do.
Noviercas Dairy Farm: A Nightmare for Residents
Noviercas, just north of Madrid, is home to only 150 inhabitants – many of whom are concerned about the mega-dairy plans.
The cooperative Valle de Odieta picked this small, quiet town believing that it would face little opposition – but this weekend’s protest demonstrated that this isn’t the case.
No one wants to live near a factory farm – the smell, noise, dust, and waste have an enormous impact on daily life. Media reports about residents affected by factory farms tell the story of a woman living near a pig farm in Denmark who even had to wear a mask outside due to the overpowering smells being emitted.
The proposed farm would also contaminate nearby water sources with filthy run-off and have a negative impact on soil quality. Spain was recently taken to court by the EU for exceeding the legal limit for soil nitrates because of the amount of animal waste being leaked into the ground.
Added Fuel to the Environmental Crisis
Animal agriculture is a leading cause of the climate catastrophe, and building new farms – especially ones of this size – would have a cataclysmic impact on the environment. Cows release huge volumes of methane – a greenhouse gas 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere.
Mad Cow Disease Hazards
Originating from filthy, intensive farming, mad cow disease is still a threat today. In the 1990s, over 4 million cows were slaughtered and 178 people died as a result of the disease. And outbreaks of a host of other dangerous diseases, including COVID-19, have been linked to the exploitation of animals.
Europe’s Largest Dairy Farm Must Be Stopped
Only baby cows need to drink cows’ milk – humans can thrive on vegan milks made from oats, rice, nuts, or soya.
Take action now by sending a message to the mayor of Noviercas urging him to stop these plans: