Plans for three large-scale units in England have encountered fierce resistance from campaigners who say they would cause extra noise, smell and disruption and cause more stress and disease for animals.
Animal welfare organisations fear the proposals are signs that a new intensive system of agriculture could soon replace the UK's patchwork of small livestock farms.
In the past three months, plans have been brought forward for an 8,000-cow dairy farm at Nocton in Lincolnshire and a 3,000-cow unit at South Witham, also Lincolnshire. Both have been withdrawn following fierce opposition.
It's all being driven by economies of scale. We have been importing a lot of milk and the UK dairy industry has been undermined and conventional dairy farmers have been going out of business. We believe that animals should be farmed for food but we don't agree there can be any justification, economic or otherwise, for the commoditisation of animals and their housing in such large units. (Source)