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For Immediate Release: For more information:
November 1, 2002 lauren Ornelas 530/759-8482

Mega Dairy Application Withdrawn - Animal Advocates Call It a Victory

Dixon, CA: The Citizen Action Group Against Mega Dairies was formed earlier this year to fight the influx of mega dairies into Solano County. It has kept constant pressure on Solano County officials to deny another mega dairy application. The Citizen Action Group just received word that a second 6,000 cow mega dairy has withdrawn its application to the Planning Commission for a permit to do business. One 6,000-cow mega dairy has already received a permit and has started building its dairy facility. A 1,200 cow feedlot would like to get a permit, but The Citizen Action Group vows to keep the pressure on to stop it.

"We are relieved that residents will be spared the problems that accompany mega dairies," said lauren Ornelas, U.S. Director of Viva!, a member of the Citizen Action Group. "The image of bucolic dairies where happy cows graze on green grass is pure illusion. The reality is something far different. These dairies cause suffering for cows and their calves while wreaking ecological havoc in our communities."

Viva! launched their campaign against the dairy industry at the State Capitol last July, shining a spotlight on the two dairies that, at the time, wanted to move into Solano County. They revealed video footage taken at the two dairies, which currently are located in Southern California.

Viva!'s investigations documented that cows in mega-dairies are confined to dirt and/or cement-floored enclosures. Continually impregnated to keep the supply of milk flowing, their calves are taken away when they are just hours old. Male calves are shipped off to confinement farms to be later slaughtered for veal; females are chained to, or confined in, small huts until they are old enough to be impregnated and begin producing milk. The constantly pregnant and lactating cows are spent by age 5 or 6 when they are then slaughtered. A cow's normal lifespan is 25 years.

California - the nation's top dairy producing state - and its 2,700 dairies with an estimated 1.5 million cows, produce an astounding 30 million tons of manure each year. The U.S. EPA considers management of dairy waste a top environmental issue for California; in 1998, the State Water Resources Control Board reported the water quality of nine rivers and 49 ground water basins were contaminated by animal operations.

"We encourage people to do what they can to limit the animal suffering and environmental pollution by giving up dairy and consuming some of the delicious animal-free alternatives that currently exist," said Ornelas.

Citizen Action Group Against Mega Dairies: Residents of Solano County, Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights, Animal Place, Animal Protection Institute, The Fund for Animals, and Viva!