Mega-pig farm plan criticised

Plans for a “mega-pig farm” that will house 25,000 sows and piglets have been critcised by a new report.

The study by the Soil Association and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) claims that the new farm could drive hundreds of other farmers out of business if it is given the green light.

Derbyshire County Council started a consultation into the proposals for the site in Foston – which would produce 52,000 pigs each year – yesterday.

Peter Melchett, Soil Association policy director, said: “Developers claim they’re meeting public demand, but it’s wrong to say the British public are demanding that cows must be kept inside throughout the months they are milked, or that 2,500 mother pigs should spend their entire lives shut up inside a factory. These huge factory farms could herald a new phase in the way British farmers keep animals, opening the floodgates to similar developments and changing our farming landscape forever.”

Simon Pope, WSPA UK head of external affairs, added: “We know from America that the real cost of food produced in factory farms is poor animal welfare, pollution and the economic death knell for thousands of small-scale farmers. That cannot be something we sleepwalk into accepting here. If we do, it’s difficult to see how the British countryside and our traditional rural communities will ever be the same again.”

>> Animal feed re-think needed says Soil Association

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