Sir: Philip Lymbery states large intensive farms are ‘bad for the environment, bad for welfare and bad for human health’ (Letters, 21 September, p26). Yet the Environment Agency, Farm Animal Welfare Committee and Health Protection Agency flag no such concerns provided risks – present on any farm – are managed.

Britain already has 150 dairy farms with over 500 cows and several with over 2,000, all operating with no undue impact; many will be housed but as over 95% of British cows already spend at least the winter inside, how is this unfamiliar? 

Britain needs more milk, or imports from farms with very different standards will increase. Unless Mr Lymbery can present relevant, up-to-date, peer-reviewed studies to back his claims, I suggest it’s time we all move on and instead deploy effort into ensuring the best welfare, environmental performance and economic prosperity on all sizes and systems of British dairy farm.

Amy Jackson, Nuffield Scholar 2012

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