A total of 173 cows were culled at a cattle farm in Changde, Hunan province over the past four months amid a serious downturn in China’s dairy industry.
Pi Hui, a 52-year-old farming chief at the Xiangmin Husbandry Co., reluctantly sent another cow to be slaughtered on Tuesday, Tencent News reports. In his 30-year profession, he said he’s never seen such a standstill in the dairy market.
The issue came to light at the end of last year when small dairy farmers across several provinces were forced to throw away milk and sell their herds due to a drop in demand.
The cost of raw milk is 3.94 yuan per kilogram, but Pi said he’s only been able to sell it for 3.7 yuan. That amounts to nearly 240 yuan in losses for every ton of milk that he sells.
Pi believes that the downturn is the result of more and more cheap imported dairy products hitting Chinese shelves. Xinhua explained that many people are now opting for foreign dairy brands over local brands in the wake of several production-related scandals in China.
In the past four months, Pi said he’s lost nearly 1.4 million yuan and had no choice but to slaughter his cows to help cover costs. He’s now seeking subsidies from the government and protection for domestic dairy farmers who’ve suffered from the cold wave.
[Image via Tencent]