Further opposition to Derbyshire pig farm plans

Plans to build a pig farm in Derbyshire have come under further opposition from the Foston and Scropton Action Group (FSAG).

The group claimed that Midland Pig Producers’ (MPP) plans to build a pig facility in the village of Foston will present a “serious public health risk” to locals. It also claimed that there were no measures included to prevent “dangerous antibiotic resistant bacteria” and other emissions from escaping the site.

Jim Davies from the FSAG said in a statement: “Midland Pig Producers has not properly addressed concerns that harmful bio-aerosols, endotoxins and antibiotic resistant bacteria will affect the health of local residents.

“The planned air filtration systems will not prevent dangerous antibiotic-resistant organisms from escaping and nor will the bio-digester kill all such bacteria.”

Davies also claimed that MPP had a “lack of scientific understanding” that would make villagers guinea pigs and endanger their health.

However, a spokesperson from MPP explained that there had been “significant” changes to the proposed layout of the farm, after consulting with residents.

“Despite enthusiastic claims to the contrary, there is no UK evidence that siting a pig unit near to residential areas poses any risk at all. In fact, humans are more likely to pass bugs to pigs not the other way around. Disease is controlled by good standards of hygiene, welfare and management systems and has nothing to do with the size of the farm.”

FSAG has labelled the proposed site a factory farm, saying it will house 25,000 pigs. It has said it will be situated less than 100 metres from a number of residential properties and will be 150 metres upwind from a women’s prison and natal unit.

The MPP spokesman said concluded: “The implication that our Foston site will be comparable with large-scale farms in the US is simply spurious scaremongering. US farms house up to 500,000 pigs, we are talking about less than 5% of that figure and this will still not be the biggest pig farm in the UK.

“Finally, the ongoing references to MRSA are quite surprising as there has been no MRSA found in pigs in the UK to date, only humans.”