A dairy cow welfare campaign fronted by Joanna Lumley has shelved its attempt to petition for new EU legislation.

The campaign, backed by Ben & Jerry’s, the WSPA and Compassion in World Farming, wanted to use a European Citizens’ Initiative - a new system that allows citizens to lobby the EC - to push for higher dairy cow welfare standards.

A successful ECI needs to collect one million signatures in a year, but organisers said the system was not yet fully functional.

They added they would continue to work to raise awareness of dairy welfare issues through the happycows.eu website and would revisit an ECI once the system was fit for purpose.