Mega-pig farm: EA withdraws objections

The Environment Agency (EA) has dropped its objections to the mega-pig farm proposed by Midland Pig Producers (MPP), after deciding that the risks of pollution to the ground water are minimal.†

Derbyshire County Council is currently considering plans for the farm, which would house up to 2,500 sows and 20,000 piglets on a 30-acre site adjacent to Foston Prison.

The EA had objected to the plans as it was concerned about possible pollution of the ground water. However, after MPP provided information to show that the relevant measures were in place to minimise potential problems, the EA wrote to Derbyshire County Council to withdraw its objection.

MPPís proposals have been subjected to a high-profile campaign by local residents and animal rights campaigners. Local residents have objected to the plans on the grounds of greater traffic flow, noxious smells and an increased risk of disease, while campaigners are opposed to the intensity of the farming which it likens to US-style factory farms.

MPP says that animal welfare is a top priority to the company, and it will adhere to strict Defra guidelines and Assured Food Standards. It has also said the facility will include cutting-edge technology to minimise the farmís carbon footprint. The unit will be sealed and ventilated with a double filter system, with an anaerobic digester used to convert methane gas to power and the remaining by-products being sold as a fertiliser.