Local residents and campaigners have written to Derbyshire County Council to urge councillors to reject the Foston ‘factory farm’ which would house 2,500 sows, producing 1,000 pigs a week. In September the Derby Telegraph reported that there were 38,000 objections. The planning decision, scheduled for October, still has not been taken.
Tracy, who is director of the “Farms not Factories” campaign group, said she hoped the sheer number of objections would lead to the plans being thrown out:
“Opposition to the development by local residents is almost unanimous. They have not been persuaded that the development will not poison them with toxic emissions, pollute local waterways, increase the risk of flooding and disturb the amenity of the area with vastly-increased heavy vehicle traffic.
Relevant postscript . . .
In 2010 George Monbiot agreed that if pigs are fed on residues and waste, and cattle on straw and grass from fallows and rangelands – food for which humans don’t compete – meat becomes a very efficient means of food production.
But this week, though agreeing with Tracy and Simon about the evils of raising broiler chickens, stalled pigs and feedlot cattle: “sustaining unhealthy animals in crowded sheds” – and referring to a recent parliamentary report – he rescinds his acceptance of Simon Fairlie’s position in Meat: a benign extravagance, in his quest to recover hill and forest habitats for imported wild predator animals and birds.
In a second message Tracy refers to another new report, ‘The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance’, which illustrates the economic and health impacts of antibiotic resistance. She adds that this report only focuses on public health, not their effects on intensively reared animals (Veterinary Times, 8 December 2014).
Fairlie has pointed out that around half the current global meat supply causes no loss to human nutrition and in fact delivers a net gain, as it comes from animals eating grass and crop residues that people can’t consume. It is low energy, low waste, just, diverse and small-scale.
We add to his recommendation,Tracy’s reminder of the importance of conserving our native and rare breed pigs, keeping diversity within the pig species through sustainable mixed farming methods – and all native animal and bird breeds and seeds.