IS SHEEP DAIRYING A MORE SUSTAINABLE LAND-USE PARADIGM FOR NEW ZEALAND THAN COW DAIRYING?

Sue Trafford1, Guy Trafford1

1Lincoln University, Lincoln, Canterbury, New Zealand

 

ABSTRACT

New Zealand’s economy is dependent on cow dairying’s contribution of approx. $7.8 billion to total GDP. However, it faces ratcheting  pressure for more regulatory controls as the result of intense public scrutiny of its environmental footprint, predominantly relating to water supply and quality. Sheep dairying is being heralded as a potentially profitable export industry with a significantly lighter footprint while capitalising on the longstanding skills and infrastructural base of a historic, national sheep farming industry. Yet, there is limited definitive information available as to whether sheep dairying can/ does deliver its promise with regard to environmental and other benefits. This paper explores a range of literature/data that outlines the benefits of sheep comparative to cow dairying in the New Zealand context and compares findings to those of an ongoing, commercial research project (Charing Cross Sheep Dairy) established in 2011 in the Canterbury region. It also explores benefits to communities, and animal welfare.


BIOGRAPHY

Lecturer in Agribusiness and Markets department, Lincoln University. Speciality area- resilient farming systems, food compliance and sheep dairying.

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Tourism Tasmania, Barnbougle Dunes, Ray Joyce, Health Holden, Graham Freeman, Joe Shemesh, Glenn Gibson, Hobart City Council, Nick Osborne, National Trust Tasmania, Dale Baldwin, Brian Dullaghan, Rob Burnett, Alistair Bett, Alice Bennett, Wai Nang Poon, Chris Crerar, Kathy Leahy, Flow Mountain Bike, Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service, James Bowden, Masaaki Aihara, Sean Feennessy, Bruce Irwin, Liz Knox