Dutch activists target large 'pig housing blocks'
Environmentalist activists have launched a campaign in the Netherlands to
prevent cooperating farms to build mega-farms, called 'pig housing
The group Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth)
collected reports of initiatives for large pig and poultry house building plans
in the Netherlands at its website.
organisation counted pig houses for 5,000 animals or more and chicken houses for
250,000 animals or more. More than 50 building plans have been received up until
now - the organisation fears building them will create a lot of damage and
nuisance to the countryside.
A number of Dutch
MPs have asked questions about the list in Parliament.
newspaper De Volkskrant emphasises that a maze in a recent law allows
large farm building initiatives.
The law, put in place after the Classical Swine Fever
outbreak in 1997 and 1998, aimed to relocate the livestock
industry to less ecologically vulnerable
The law allowed large pig producing
companies to move to regions, that were especially appointed for expansion
intensive livestock industry.
The activists claim now that state or
provincial control is lacking into the size of the new
Annechien ten Have, chairwoman of
the animal livestock industry in the Dutch Agri- and Horticultural Organisation
(LTO), however, says that scale increases in every sector in economy, so also in
agriculture and livestock industry.
"Together we agreed that pig farms
close to nature or towns will be relocated to areas where there is space for
expansion. We are not talking about an expansion of the total number of pigs,
but about a relocation."
The Dutch researcher Huib Silvis from
Wageningen University's Agricultural Economical Institute (LEI) added that mega
farms have to comply with the same rules as small ones.
environmental goals might even be met cheaper on large farms."
Related news item:
â€¢ Plans for 'pig flat blocks' worry Dutch villagers (30 May
â€¢ Dutch Agri- and Horticultural Organisation (LTO)
â€¢ De Volkskrant
â€¢ Wageningen University and Research
Economisch Instituut (LEI)
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