A TYNEDALE farmer has spoken out in support of a pro-dairy campaign called Februdairy, which has swept across the Twittersphere this week.

Farmers and industry leaders have been encouraged to get behind the social-media campaign which aims to celebrate all things dairy throughout February, by posting regular behind-the-scenes pictures and videos of life on a dairy farm, and promoting the health benefits of dairy consumption.

Februdairy was created by farmers in defence of the month-long Veganuary campaign, which was created by vegan activists in a bid to urge the public to stop consuming animal products during January, and was fuelled by anti-livestock farming propaganda which circulated across social media.

One farmer backing Februdairy is dairy farmer Richard Baynes of Marleycote Walls, Slaley, who said the campaign gave farmers the opportunity to educate the public about dairy farms, and the high-standards of animal welfare which farmers practise.

“I’m getting behind the campaign, because I’m tired of farmers like myself being vilified across social media by vegan vigilantes, who often have never even been to a diary farm, or spoken to a farmer directly,” said Richard.

“I have no problem with vegans or vegetarians, so long as they aren’t harassing farmers, who are just trying to do their job.

“There is a increasing spread of false information about livestock farming and it isn’t fair to the farmers, nor to the public who are being sold false facts.

“Februdairy not only gives people the chance to see how much care we care for our animals, but it also allows people to make a decision whether or not to eat animal products which is based on facts, and not a smear campaign.”

One of the leading voices behind the campaign is Dairy Industry Woman of the Year 2017 Dr Jude Capper, who initiated the movement on Twitter.

She wrote: “Let’s make #Februdairy happen this year. 28 days, 28 positive dairy posts, from cute calves and cheese on crumpets, to belligerent bulls and juicy beef burgers”.

Farming organisations have also shown support for the campaign, including Dairy UK, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and the Dairy Council, which last year joined together to launch a similar pro-dairy campaign called ‘Tell it Like is’, which highlighted the health benefits of dairy products.

From February 1, the twitter hashtag #Februdairy has been trending across Britain, with posts now in the thousands from farmers and non-farming supporters alike.