"Keeping livestock outdoors may be perceived to be welfare friendly, but is likely to become a thing of the past in the next decade."
Midland Pig Producers
Objection period extended. Object TODAY!
Thank you to everyone who helped fight this development the first time round. We won round one, but now the people behind what would be one of Britain's largest ever pig farms (which will hold around 26,000 pigs) have resubmitted plans. That's why we need your help to fight this - again! Even if you have already ojected once please do so again, as these are ammended plans.
Although it would be wrong to think we don't already have intensive farming of animals in the UK, the plans at Foston would be a lurch even further towards American style mega-farming and all that entails. It will be nearly 40 times the size of the average pig farm in Britain. As we have seen in the US, animals and local people often come a very distant second to the pursuit of profit. We should be getting rid of factory farming, not embracing it - and people power is the key to stopping such developments.
Foston Pig Prison
Surrounded by barbed wire fences, the massive complex would imprison sows that would never go outside. An uncomfortable comparison with the neighbouring women's prison only a stone's throw away.
Foston pig farm is due to be situated right next to the historic village of the same name (on a beautiful Greenfield site) and will produce a thousand pigs a week, which will be transported off-site to slaughter. That's 48,000 pigs a year. At any one time the farm will house around 26,000 animals trapped on a slow conveyor belt towards the abattoir. Unbelievably, in the original plans, there was to be a picnic site overlooking it.
One of the men behind this venture has been voted Pig Farmer of the year 2009. His company even believes that the countryside will be stripped of its animals within a decade and criticises outdoor pig farming.
MPP also claim to have been working with animal welfare and animal rights groups - rest assured it was most certainly not Viva! - in designing one of the largest pig farms Britain has ever known. Yes, they have made some improvements - farrowing crates where sows can now actually turn around - but we believe it is a far cry from high welfare. And considering that we found scenes of confinement and despiar when we previous investigated Midland Pig Producer associated farms how can we trust them? Pigs are rooting animals that can roam miles in the wild and enjoy total freedom in their interaction with their young. Today's factory farms deny almost all that is natural to these sensitive and intelligent animals.
Then there's the impact on humans. Have we learnt nothing from swine flu, bird flu, SARS (severe viral pneumonia) etc in the way we treat animals? Situating a massive intensive farm this close to people (the nearest house is just 20 metres away from the perimeter fence) could be asking for trouble. Not least the use of a huge anaerobic digester to process around 15 million litres of slurry a year. These digesters are designed to produce energy and reduce smell, but can actually be a source of smell, noise and - in the worst case scenario - toxic gases and even fire and explosions.
If Foston Pig Prison goes ahead this it could be the thin end of the wedge. If the company gets its way, there will be no more animals left in the British countryside. We stopped the mega-dairy. We must stop this.
Object to Foston Pig Prison!
Please note: sadly animal welfare is not a consideration when it comes to making planning decisions and so we have concentrated on environmental and human health factors. However, all objections count as a vote against this proposal and mega factory farms.
To: Derbyshire County Council, ES Planning Control
I wish to register my objection to resubmitted plans put forward by Midland Pig Producers (MPP) for a factory farm for 26,000 pigs near the village of Foston (CW9/0311/174). Especially as there have been no significant alterations.
Although I know that animal welfare is not taken into account when judging planning proposals, I would like to say that I do not believe that high welfare would be possible on a farm this size.
I am also deeply concerned about the potential health impacts to humans by situating a massive factory farm so close to habituated dwellings. I understand that no people living nearby support the proposals.
The proposed site is less than 150 metres from a women’s prison and natal unit, and less than 100 metres from a number of residential properties. MPP has not been able to specify any measures to stop antibiotic-resistant organisms from escaping the site and possibly affecting the health of people living downwind. This could be a potential human health time bomb.
Authorities in Europe have recently refused permission for the building of several intensive indoor pig facilities because of concerns.
I hope that you will take these points into consideration and reject this proposal.
[mandatory fields for name and address]
Please remember: the factory farming of pigs is driven by the desire for cheap meat. However, whilst welfare can be improved, all pigs – no matter the production method – will live short lives and suffer the horrors of the slaughterhouse.
The best way to end the suffering of animals is to simply not eat them.
To find out more about Viva!’s work and help going vegan - or moving in that direction - please visit www.viva.org.uk.
Get active for pigs with Viva!
Free help to go vegan
Local Foston Action Group on Facebook
More on the proposed development at Foston by the Pig Business