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Worldwide opposition kicks up a stink online

By Rebecca Black

Published 23/06/2015

Rock guitarist Brian May

It's the Co Antrim pig farm which has attracted the attention of the world.

When farmer Derek Hall first submitted plans to Antrim and Newtownabbey Council to build new and bigger facilities for his pigs it was opposed by a handful of local residents concerned about the noise and smell.

He described his existing farm buildings on the Old Carrick Road near Monkstown as old, and said his family do not have enough space to renovate the existing site and remain in business.

Plans for the new site on the Reahill Road are for a state-of-the-art facility which he said will provide improvements both for the animals and the environment.

It will be able to accommodate up to 30,000 pigs.

Opposition to the plant plans has mushroomed online between local residents and animal lovers from across the world.

Thousands have written official opposition letters to the council and hundreds of thousands have signed a petition against it. The council has received so many letters that it is now unable to respond individually to each one.

As revealed in the Belfast Telegraph last week, the Hall family has now taken on a Belfast PR firm, DCP Strategic Communication Ltd, to help them.

Today we can reveal that one of the world's best-loved musicians, Brian May, has also joined the campaign against the larger pig farm.

South Antrim MP Danny Kinahan has remained cautious about taking sides and said that he is listening to both viewpoints.

Councillors on the Antrim and Newtownabbey Council's Planning Committee will have the eyes of the world on them as they take what will be one of the biggest decisions to be taken by the local government bodies since they were granted the new powers.

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