Wednesday, 25 March 2009


If anybody proposed now to build a factory in Jersey to produce methane, manure and milk using up over 6,000 acres of precious land they would be laughed out of the island.

Yet that is what the Jersey dairy industry already does and it is all because the Jersey cow is pretty, petite and has sexy eyelashes. The milk she produces is far too rich in fat to be used by most people these days and has to be modified into fat reduced and skimmed varieties to pass the most basic health or marketing tests. And the methane that the lady pumps into the air and urine and excrement that she deposits on the land and into water courses is just not mentioned in polite company.

100 years ago there were 12,000 Jersey cows in Jersey when the human population was about 50,000. Now there are 3,500 cows in milk (plus a few thousands more on standby being impregnated etc) for a population of 90,000 people – so it doesn’t take much imagination to realize that the herd is doomed for extinction sometime soon – even if foot and mouth, bluetongue or anthrax doesn’t do that job first.

Left to market forces, nobody in their right mind would buy the super expensive Jersey milk and it is only by prohibiting the import of cheaper and probably healthier alternatives from nearby France or England that the Jersey product survives at all.
That there are non-animal alternatives like Soya or Rice milk too and that these promote all sorts of world-wide benefits does not seem to be even considered in Jersey.

Those who can remember the 1960’s will also recall that Jersey milk with its disgusting fatty globules and rich in antibiotics was deemed the worst in western Europe so the notion that there is some ancient and proud pedigree behind this particular “Jersey icon” is just a delusion.

More recently of course it has been agreed to allow imported semen to be imported to further boost the milk production of the wretched machine cows because it is now necessary to extract ever more of the unwholesome liquid from ever fewer animals. The Jersey gene pool has become so depleted that it is now apparently impossible to maintain the local herd without importing fresh blood from foreign freaks that produce milk in monsoon quantities. Animal welfare is not, so it seems, a priority in this accountant led business.

Unfortunately, like Marilyn Monroe, it is the Jersey cow’s good looks that are the ultimate cause of her downfall. She is just too pretty for her own good. Once upon a time when foolish men wanted a “lawn cow” to decorate their English gardens, the Jersey cow was favourite. Now the poor beast is just a lawn cow in her own island. These days the Jersey cow is a symbolic decoration in the island countryside and serves to pacify the Jersey traditionalists that life goes on in the old fashioned way although the Island is now a Tax Haven where agriculture is of virtually no economic importance at all.

But, there is the hidden agenda too because the Jersey cow serves as the symbolic protector of the “green countryside” against building development. On the basis of the totally false argument that it is necessary to preserve a dairy industry in Jersey the pretty cow is used to resist development – especially housing development – in the country parishes. So that, whilst the cow can enjoy 2 acres of green field or 100,000 sq ft per animal – the planning policies of the island demand that houses for working people shall be built within established built up areas. In other words, the ever increasing human population is to be housed almost exclusively in the “St Helier Ghetto” where they can expect to enjoy about 250 sq ft of space in a block of flats.

Unfortunately, Jersey’s so called “environmentalists” have fallen for the pretty cow too together with the argument that it is necessary to resist development of her sacred green fields.
They are, so it seems, quite happy that Jersey still has a population of 10,000 working adults without housing qualifications at all besides the many thousands of others already in the housing needs queue and they willingly perpetuate the myth that the Jersey dairy herd is more deserving of accommodation and space than human beings.

It is evident that Jersey is rapidly being divided into north and south – or town and country - zones with the wealthy living in the countryside parishes, alongside the cows, whilst working people are stuffed into St Helier, out of sight and mind, alongside all the unsavoury activities of refuse disposal, metal scrap yard, sewer treatment, fuel farm and even the slaughter house where the pretty cows end their days.

It is also evident that horses are now being welcomed into the countryside (there are now about 1500 equine animals in Jersey) and land is being allowed to be taken out of agricultural use, in order to accommodate these toys of the rich whilst the housing needs of thousands are still ignored.

Typically, (and as already referred to on in previous blogs) the current Minister for Planning has decreed that social housing and the desperate housing needs of thousands, will only be met through cramming more and more units of accommodation into St Helier. The plan is fundamentally flawed just as it is morally dubious. By his own actions the Minister has turned 3 agricultural fields over to equine use alongside his own very grand and spacious SSI house in rural St John yet he has the cheek to demand that thousands of people shall be condemned to a miserable existence in ever deteriorating urban areas with the barest minimum of amenity space. Such hypocrisy has been the foundation of Jersey planning for decades and Senator Cohen will soon put his name to the latest Island Plan which will perpetuate the same unfairness and inequalities. We must resist and protest. The Jersey cow is NOT sacred.

Submitted by Thomas Wellard.


rico sorda said...

What a fantastic post mr.wellard.

ST.Helier is a dump thats for sure & its only going to get worse.


Anonymous said...

The waste of countryside is even more acute than you indicate here. The economics of dairy farming are such that the larger Jersey herds are kept indoors because it is just too expensive to employ staff to bring them in and out of the fields twice a day for milking.

So we have to put up with huge and ugly buildings in the countryside for cows to live in - whereas humans would require much more pleasing structures and they wouldn't be p**ssing and shi**ing all over the place either.

There are many acres of countryside that the owners would be only too glad to dispose of for building homes that people desperately need - but it wouldn't please the likes of Senators Cohen and Le Sueur and their rich friends living very nicely thankyou among the green fields.