Petition fighting plan for huge pig farm hits 25,000 signatures
MORE than 25,000 people have signed a petition objecting to plans for a giant pig farm – the same number as the amount of animals to be housed at the site.
And campaigners against Midland Pig Producers' plans for Foston have been boosted by comments made by James Bond star Sir Roger Moore about the general issue of pig farming.
Derbyshire County Council is set to decide next year whether the Foston proposals can go ahead. It is currently awaiting the opinion of the Environment Agency.
James Davies, representing campaigners against the Foston farm, said reaching 25,000 signatures was a big milestone.
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He said: "This proves that this issue hasn't gone away."
Sir Roger made his comments about the pig farming industry in general as part of a two-minute film for Channel 4. The 85-year-old actor said: "It is not only inhumane with its treatment of the pigs, but its inhumane in its treatment of the humans who live in the vicinity.
"Poor pigs don't mean to hurt the humans, but we hurt them."
He also urged people to buy organic meat rather than that produced by pig factories, where he said he thought animals were "not healthy".
He added he believed people living near large-scale pig farms were endangered.
He said: "The effluents that leave these sites, all that waste is spread on to fields."
Sir Roger is not the only celebrity to join the general debate on this issue. Others include television presenter Paul O'Grady and Dominic West, from hit police drama The Wire.
A Midland Pig Producers spokeswoman said that everyone had the right to voice their opinion.
She said: "We would point out, however, that our animals, should planning permission be granted, will be raised in the highest standards of animal welfare, hence credible animal welfare organisations have not raised objection to our plans."
The company this month received a Good Sow Commendation from Compassion in World Farming in recognition of its commitment to farm animal welfare.
The spokeswoman added the risk of disease on farms was controlled by good standards of hygiene, welfare and management systems.
She said: "The farm will have three separate systems to remove the ammonia – or 'smell' – causing elements at source as recommended by the Health Protection Agency. These systems will also clean the air of airborne particles, making the air coming out of the units, we believe, actually cleaner than the air going in."