July 12, 2011

Proposed Midland Pig Producers UK pig farm faces opposition


More than 6,500 people in the UK have signed an online petition asking the Derbyshire County Council to vote against a proposed Midland Pig Producers (MPP) factory pig farm in the village of Foston, Derbyshire.


The campaign urges all UK residents to sign the petition on Change.org and register their opposition on the Derbyshire County Council's Web site. More than 7,500 people have spoken out against the factory farm on the County Council's Web site.


If approved, MPP's farm would become one of the largest factory farms in the UK, housing more than 25,000 pigs and sending more than 1,000 to slaughter every week.


A decision on MPP's agricultural operation will likely come as early as September.


"Cheap pork is flooding UK supermarket shelves from mainland Europe where, according to Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), 90% of the farms are not obeying European Union animal welfare legislation," said Tracy Worcester, director of the documentary Pig Business.


"Instead of trying to compete with these cheap imports by building mega farms with a few small improvements in terms of animal welfare and green credentials, our government should be ensuring that our small-scale family farms receive payments that reflect their benefits to society."


The petition on Change.org was started by the makers of Pig Business, a documentary that explores the health, animal welfare and environmental impacts of industrial-scale pig farms.


"If the Derbyshire County Council approves Midland Pig Producers' operation, it would open the door for more factory farms in the UK," said Sarah Parsons, Change.org's Sustainable Food Editor. "The factory farm might bring big business to Midland Pig Producers, but it would devastate the area's environment and residents' quality of life."


According to Pig Business, factory farm owners regularly feed antibiotics to their animals, spawning the growth of drug-resistant bacteria like MRSA ST398, a new disease which passes from pigs to humans.


Industrial-scale agricultural operations also pollute air and waterways, produce noxious odors, decrease property values in the surrounding areas, and put small, ecologically minded producers out of business.


Many notable environmentalists and organizations like The Environment Protection Agency, The Soil Association, local MP Heather Wheeler, and actor Dominic West have all publicly opposed a factory pig farm in Foston.

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