For Immediate Release:

7 November 2019

More Than 10,000 People Agree: Surf Coast Shire Council Must Reject Plans for Cruel and Environmentally Damaging Sheep Dairy Farm

Geelong – Plans have been submitted to Surf Coast Shire Council for a sheep dairy factory farm in Inverleigh, west of Geelong. If approved, up to 14,000 lambs and sheep, including 6,000 lactating ewes, will be exploited and denied everything that’s natural and important to them at this industrial operation.

In response, PETA has sent a petition with over 10,000 signatures from local residents and other concerned members of the public urging the council to reject the plans.

In its petition, supported by Torquay-based MP Andy Meddick, PETA points out that this facility will cause intense suffering to not only the ewes, who will be kept almost constantly pregnant, but also their babies – the collateral damage of any commercial dairy farm – who will be separated from their mothers, denied the milk that’s naturally theirs, and slaughtered.

As well as being concerned about the overwhelming animal suffering on their doorstep, many local residents are rightly worried about the impact of the operation on water use and the environment. Sheep are a ruminant species and so produce a lot of methane during digestion. Methane is a greenhouse gas and is roughly 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a heat-trapping substance. Surf Coast Shire Council declared a climate emergency at its August 2019 meeting, and greenlighting a facility that would significantly contribute to the area’s greenhouse-gas emissions and water usage would be in complete contradiction to the council’s promise to act urgently on climate change.

“Sheep are clever, playful individuals, not milk machines to be kept continually pregnant and separated from their young,” says PETA spokesperson Emily Rice. “For the sake of animals and to honour its commitment to tackling the climate crisis, the council must say no to this monstrous proposal.”

In today’s dairy industry, cows, sheep, and goats are artificially inseminated and babies are typically torn away from their loving mothers within days of birth.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way” – opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit