Gove's comments , which he made during last week's NFU Conference, followed the highly-publicized launch of an online interactive map detailing the addresses of over 9,000 UK dairy farms by pro-vegan organization Project Calf.
According to David Exwood, South East chairman for the National Farmers Union, it is 'very intrusive having protesters turn up' to farms, as 'some farmers live there with their families'.
"Dairy farmers deserve protection from activists who would undermine their work, they - our dairy farmers, alongside sheep and beef farmers play a critical role in keeping pastures and other vital landscapes resilient and strengthening rural economies and rural society," Gove said.
"That's why I am an enthusiastic supporter of initiatives such as Febru-dairy which remind us how much we owe our dairy farmers and why, at the end of a hard day at Defra, I am always happy to raise a pint - of full cream milk - to thank them for what they do."
He added: "I'm all for people who care about the environment having an opportunity to express their views pungently and clearly, but I am absolutely opposed to people who are running proper businesses being stopped from running their businesses and being in fear as a result of people breaking the law."
According to Project Calf, its resource is intended purely to document animal abuse on dairy farms.
"We are not there to intimidate, but simply to document and take pictures of the cows, especially when we see calves in separation pens," said the group.
"We understand that farmers are concerned but everything we did with the map has been legal."
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself.Reuse this content
Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers. She was previously the editor of Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.
Since you're here...
Plant Based News is a FREE service that receives millions of views each week. This takes a lot of our personal time, money and hard work. But we do it because we KNOW it makes a difference. If those following our reporting helped by contributing, we could do even more. Please consider supporting us so we can create further awareness about animal rights, environmentalism, ethical consumerism and the plant-based lifestyle. Not a false narrative - but information that empowers people to make better choices.