An e-petition calling for the government to intervene in the current milk crisis has been initiated, which could see the controversial price cuts being discussed in Parliament.

The petition – which at time of writing had just 206 signatures – calls on Defra to do more to protect the interests of British dairy farmers.

“The low price of milk is forcing extremely hard-working farming families into poverty and increasing the dependence on antibiotics used with animals that will have a devastating effect on the industry,” it states.

If the price of milk was not increased soon the UK would suffer a shortage of supply and would end up paying more in the long term, it argues.

The move follows a round of cuts to the farmgate price of milk by the major milk processors, signalled by Robert Wiseman Dairies a week ago. Arla, First Milk and Dairy Crest have all followed suit.

If an e-petition gets 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for debate in the House of Commons. The petition is open until 16 August.