Lost Valley Farm, Oregon’s second-largest dairy farm, had its operating permit recently revoked by the state’s department of agriculture for continually violating environmental requirements related to managing animal waste.
According to the state, Lost Valley Farm failed to comply with a court order requiring it to correct a number of environmental violations, including the farm’s contamination of legally protected groundwater with cow manure. That’s right, the factory farm did nothing to stop the waste from thousands of animals from seeping into the soil and polluting potential drinking water.
As if that weren’t terrible enough, Tillamook County Creamery Association, which purchases raw milk from Lost Valley Farm to make cheese, stated it would cancel its contract with the farm after repeatedly finding that the milk contained high levels of bacteria.
Before Lost Valley Farm built its massive dairy operation, concerned officials in Morrow County penned a letter to the state’s department of agriculture explaining that the farm could negatively impact human health and the environment:
The County Court respectfully asks that the ODA, through issuance of this permit, not harm water reserves, increase groundwater contamination, or negatively impact agricultural production.
The dairy industry has a record of egregious water pollution. Last year, a dairy factory farm just outside Loveland, Colorado, was placed under investigation after public health officials discovered that cow manure had been dumped into the Big Thompson River. Similarly, more than 190,000 gallons of manure from Tony Silveira Dairy spilled into Oregon’s Tillamook Bay last year. And an HP Hood dairy facility in Frederick County, Virginia, came under fire for regularly violating pollution limits in its wastewater.
Toxins like manure and fertilizer from factory farm runoff leak into nearby waterways. These toxins promote algae blooms, which create dead zones that kill marine life. In fact, animal excrement and agricultural runoff have polluted nearly one-third of rivers in the U.S.
Dairy factory farming is not only damaging to human health and the environment but unspeakably cruel. At dairy factory farms, cows are treated as mere milk-producing machines. They are forcibly impregnated and kept in terrible conditions. Calves are torn away from their mothers shortly after they are born. Male calves are killed for veal. Females are forced into the dairy herd, trapped in a cycle of abuse for years until they are considered “spent” and sent to slaughter.
Heartbreaking, right? Just watch this undercover video from a Mercy For Animals investigation.
Join the millions who are boycotting this terrible industry by ditching dairy and other animal products and switching to a compassionate vegan diet. Click here to get started!