Do­ing what comes nat­u­rally

Country Life Every Week - - Letters To The Editor -

WITH ref­er­ence to the let­ter from Michael Oakes of the NFU (Letters, Fe­bru­ary 15), I would like to say that what he writes doesn’t make sense. To say that Red Trac­toras­sured dairy farm­ers must al­low their an­i­mals to ‘ex­hibit their nat­u­ral be­hav­iour’ is mis­lead­ing. Dairy cows that are housed all year round cer­tainly can’t graze, walk on grass and lie in the sun, all of which are more nat­u­ral be­hav­iours than be­ing con­fined in­doors on a con­crete floor.

Red Trac­tor is the same scheme that al­lows RMS (re­cy­cled ma­nure solids) as cat­tle bed­ding, which, as a dairy farmer, I find dif­fi­cult to un­der­stand.

These is­sues need to be aired in pub­lic as the con­sumer is a pow­er­ful force for change and de­serves to be aware of what’s re­ally go­ing on. Some­times, a lit­tle em­pa­thy for an­i­mals is nec­es­sary—oth­er­wise, we are ruled by fi­nan­cial re­turns alone. David Robin­son, Car­marthen­shire

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