The Green Protein Report was launched earlier this year with support from The Vegan Society of Aotearoa New Zealand and places a strong emphasis on the ‘must’ for countries to depend on animal agriculture, especially meat and dairy, its two largest industries.
“Animal husbandry and animal exports are not the only options for maintaining a healthy New Zealand economy. In fact, in a balanced way, they do more damage than good, “The report’s authors said, ProVeg International Director Jasmijn de Boo and Professor Andrew Knight from the University of Winchester.
“Diseases, like the recent Mycoplasma bovis outbreak, have led to the decision to destroy hundreds of thousands of cattle. Scarce MPI resources are spent dealing with such diseases, while other regions lack resources. “
The dairy sector is one of New Zealand’s biggest economic drivers. According to the local Department of Primary Industry (MPI), milk export revenues are estimated to rise 8.4% to NZ $ 19.6 billion (US $ 11.79 billion) for the year ending June 2020, and even with the recent COVID-19 outbreak this, this industry came into being weathering is better than mostWith export volumes remaining stable.
However, the Green Protein report claims that despite exceptional performance throughout the year, the Costs actually costs ’Milk has not been highlighted by the company.
“New Zealand is proud of its global dominance in the dairy market and its clean green image. However, the true costs, for animals, the environment and society are not well reflected in ordinary financial statements, “Said the writer.
“[Studies have shown that] the cost of repairing environmental damage from dairy farming [could] as high as NZ $ 15 billion (US $ 9.02 billion) [but ignoring this could lead to] potential loss of income from international consumers who will buy 54% less dairy products if the New Zealand environment is considered degraded. “
As for meat, NZ Statistics Citing sheep and goats and beef as the country’s second and third largest exports, also makes this category a very important driver for the New Zealand economy. The Meat Industry Association figures assess meat export revenues of NZ $ 9.1 billion (US $ 5.47 billion) in 2019.
The main beef Green Protein report on the meat category is about animal welfare, claiming that many animals in all sectors – poultry, pigs, cattle, sheep, etc. – All suffer some form of physical or emotional trauma from being raised for food.
MPI has extensive regulations for animal welfare, such as a 59-page code welfare of sheep and beef cattle. Such accusations have also been repeatedly denied by industry players.
“As an industry, we have worked hard to ensure our red meat production systems are managed to the highest animal welfare standards – this is in our best interest for productivity and profitability,” New Zealand Beef + Lamb Chairman Andrew Morrison said in an official statement.
MPI has also repeatedly convinced consumers about humane animal care policies – but based on the report, this problem still continues.
“It is clear that substantial sustainable welfare issues remain prevalent in poultry, pig, cattle and sheep farming in New Zealand,”Said the writer.
“This is contrary to good ethics, our obligation to care for these animals, the desires of domestic and international consumers, and the interests of the New Zealand animal production industry. One of the most effective ways to reduce animal suffering is to reduce the amount [animals] farming and being killed for consumption and export of human food. “
Reason for sustainability
New Zealand as a country has compiled a list of climate change targets, including one under the Paris Agreement that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below gross emissions (in 2005) for the period 2021-2030 – according to the report, changes to the agricultural industry are ‘Inevitable’If this must be fulfilled.
“In 2015, New Zealand’s gross greenhouse gas emissions were 80.2 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2e) [and] agriculture consists of about 47.9% or 38.4 Mt CO2e from this, “States the report.
“[Introducing] land use change is becoming more horticultural production and less livestock [could] leading to a significant reduction in greenhouse gases, especially in methane, but also in CO2 emissions to some extent. “
Recommendations and challenges
Overall, the authors of the report urge the New Zealand government to push for a ‘green print’ for the country, which means changing the country’s national agricultural strategy significantly.
“Research funding [should be increased] for projects that have an impact, and are diverted from research that only slightly leads to GHG emission reductions, [such as] suitability of various crops grown in various climates / locations including quinoa, wheat, flax, peas, fava beans and other legumes and nuts, “They said.
“Direct funding [should also be provided] to switch from animal agriculture to protein, [and] the Mahkota Irrigation Investment fund for dairy farming irrigation projects was stopped.
“Given the conflict of interest within the Ministry of Primary Industry (which is focused on increasing production and the economy), the Government must form a separate government agency responsible for animal welfare policies and enforcement.”
It seems noble like these goals, problems and challenges with this still exist – not the least amount of work that will be lost and the economic impact on the country if it wants to lose billions of dollars in revenue from its main food exports, which are not directly discussed in the report.
According to the government website New Zealand Now, More than 40,000 people were employed in the dairy industry by 2019, while the Meat Industry Association put the total number of jobs in the meat sector at 25,000.
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