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More than 26,000 people sign Peta petition opposing a pig farm in Foston for the second time

By Valerie Edwards

Published 29/09/2015

More than 26,000 people have signed a petition rejecting the construction of another pig farm. (Photo courtesy of Peta)
More than 26,000 people have signed a petition rejecting the construction of another pig farm. (Photo courtesy of Peta)

More than 26,000 people have signed a petition by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) opposing Midland Pig Producer's application for an intensive pig farm for the second time.

The proposed application would have the pig farm built in Foston, Derbyshire and today marks the last day to sign the petition.

Mimi Bekhechi, the director of Peta UK said: “From the noise of the traffic to the knowledge that tens of thousands of sensitive pigs are likely to be suffering inside filthy sheds, the facility would be a blight on Foston’s landscape and its reputation.

“If the Planning Inspectorate visited one of these intensive farms and saw the terrified animals, heard their screams and smelled the putrid stench of ammonia, faeces and decaying flesh, he would surely refuse permission for this hellhole.”

If built, the farm would hold up to 25,000 pigs at any one time. The application was rejected earlier this year by the Environment Agency, but was appealed by Midland Pig Producers.

The pollution from the proposed facility could contaminate local water sources, endangering wildlife and entire ecosystems, according to Peta.

If this factory is built, 45,000 tonnes of toxic pig waste would be produced every year. It would also send 1,000 pigs per week to slaughter.

Northern Ireland has also faced a constant battle with pig farm proposals. The recent plans to build a pig farm in Newtownabbey received outcry from Queen guitarist Brian May, actress Jenny Seagrove and actor Martin Shaw.

The farmer behind the plans, Derek Hall, said that many of the critics wrongly believed that the pigs were for a slaughterhouse rather than a farm.

His original plan was for a state-of-the-art facility built in two phases, with the first housing no more than 15,000 animals and the second up to 30,000. The plan has now been scaled back, but he hasn't revealed by how much.

Local farmer, Thomas Simpson, proposed a second pig farm near Limavady in mid July.

His planning application says there are to be 2,247 sows in the new unit and if each sow produces the NI average of two litters per year and 10 piglets per litter, that will mean well over 40,000 pigs per year making the Limavady site one of the largest pig farms in the UK.

The total number of animals killed in British slaughterhouses in 2013 was over a billion.

This included 9.8 million pigs, nearly 15 million sheep, 18 million turkeys, 14 million ducks, over 945 million chickens and 2.6 million cattle. There were also 4.5 billion fish and 2.6 billion shellfish, a total of over 8 billion animals killed in the UK each year.

This equates to around 22 million animals slaughtered every day; 919,000 an hour; 15,000 per minute and 255 every second.

For more information visit PETA.

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