Anti super-pig farm campaign launches new drive

The campaign against Midlands Pig Producers’ (MPP) plans for a new ‘super-pig farm’ in Derbyshire has stepped up a gear, with a new publicity drive being planned in the run-up to Christmas. 

Stuffed! is the latest step in the campaign, which aims to highlight the limited space available to pigs in large-scale farming operations. It centres around proposals being considered by Derbyshire council for a farm that would house up to 2,500 sows and 20,000 piglets on a 30-acre site adjacent to Foston Prison.

MPP has reassured the public that the farm will adhere to strict Defra guidelines and Assured Food Standards on animal welfare, which are significantly more humane than those practised across much of Europe. However, animal welfare campaigners have been virulently opposed to the farm on the grounds that the pigs will live their entire lives in “steel prisons” and that the farm will “herald a new and dark dawn of intensive agriculture that could wipe out the UK’s small livestock farms”.

Locals have also objected to the plans, citing increased traffic, noxious smells and increased risks of disease as primary concerns, despite MPP’s proposal to include cutting-edge technology to minimise the farm’s carbon footprint. The unit will be sealed and ventilated with a double filter system, with an anaerobic digester used to convert methane gas to power, with the remaining by-products being sold as a fertiliser.  

Leading campaigner, Tracy, Marchioness of Worcester, said: “Although this planned farm claims it will be more environment- and animal welfare-friendly, the pigs will live in a cocktail of gases from biodegrading faeces, and will need constant dosing with antibiotics. Overuse of antibiotics in factory farming has already helped cause many human diseases, such as E.coli, salmonella, campylobacter and the pig strain of MRSA to become resistant to antibiotics. Almost everyone who lives in the area is up in arms as the pathogens are not completely destroyed by the anaerobic digester and up to 40% can escape through the double filter into the surrounding environment. The only people who are not objecting are the local farmers who buy the dried fertiliser.”

The council has already received over 12,000 objections to the unit.

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