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Spotlight on dairy production systems at Edinburgh Fringe show

Do cows belong in fields? Image by Keith Weller/USDA (www.ars.usda.gov)
“There needs to be more discussion between different parts of the industry and the public about the future of dairy farming. Not only about facts – what are the environmental, social and welfare impacts of housing cows; but also about values – how do we want our milk to be produced and what do we value about agriculture?”

The role of grazing in dairy farming the UK has become increasingly contentious; dairy farming in the UK has changed from seasonal housing and grazing to around a fifth of farmers housing cows all year around. This change continues to be controversial with the public, and consumers are concerned about the environmental, welfare and social impacts of large farms housing cows all year around.

These issues, and many others, will be under the spotlight as part of the show ‘Do cows belong in fields?’, by Dr Orla Shortall, which will take place at the Edinburgh Fringe on 6 August as part of the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas, an informal platform for academics to engage the public with their research.

Dr Shortall, based within the James Hutton Institute's Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences group, said: “There needs to be more discussion between different parts of the industry and the public about the future of dairy farming. Not only about facts – what are the environmental, social and welfare impacts of housing cows; but also about values – how do we want our milk to be produced and what do we value about agriculture?”

The informal setting of the Fringe and the mixed audiences that shows typically attract provides an interesting opportunity to explore their thoughts and perspectives, and to provide some extra information about the dairying industry, both ‘traditional’ and evolving practice.

The show is part of a wider three year project exploring the future of indoor and pasture based dairy systems in the UK and Ireland: www.docowseatgrass.org.

“We did the event last year and there were farmers, industry representatives, animal rights activists and interested members of the public. The discussion was lively and nuanced and insightful”, Dr Shortall added.

Join Orla to discuss indoor dairy farming and the future of the industry at the Edinburgh Fringe; her show is on the 6th August at 13:30 in the New Town Theatre, Edinburgh. Tickets are available at https://www.thestand.co.uk/shows/668-do-cows-belong-in-fields-cabaret-of-dangerous-ideas-2019/.

More information from: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


Printed from /news/spotlight-dairy-production-systems-edinburgh-fringe-show on 16/10/19 04:23:10 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.