Saturday saw campaigners from ‘Stop the Limavady Pig Factory’ highlighting concerns around a proposal for a huge pig factory in the area.
An application has been lodged to build the UK’s largest pig factory on the Moys Road just outside Limavady – producing approximately 81,000 pigs a year.
The proposed development would produce thousands of tonnes of raw pig slurry and contaminated waste every year. This would be spread close to and in the catchment areas of 15 protected sites, with campaigners concerned about the untold damage this will do to the local environment. There are additional concerns around noise pollution, increase traffic volume as well as health concerns for local residents.
Gwyneth McQuinston from the campaign group said that the former Limavady Borough Council only had a population of 35,000 people and if these plans are approved by our Councillors it will mean that Limavady will have more pigs than people.
The BBC reported on Friday that the company who will be developing the pig farm, PCM (NI) Ltd, said that that the unit will only have the potential to produce 58,000 pigs per year. Also, that NIEA have stated that they are likely to Object to the Planning Application and that they have asked for additional information from the developer.
Diane Greer from the campaign group said that a Director of the company developing the pig farm, PCM (NI) LTD, is Owen Brennan. Mr Brennan is also the Chairman of Devenish Nutrition a large animal feed company and he was also a member of the Agri Food Strategy Board responsible for drafting a NI Programme for Government Action Plan called “Going for Growth”.
This Action Plan set an objective of growing the number of breeding sows in NI by 15,000. Diane Greer commented that an Environmental Impact Assessment was not undertaken on this Strategy and the impact the waste from these additional 15,000 sows and their annual offspring of 450,000 pigs will have on our environment and on our health.
The BBC reported last year that the Chairman of the Agri Food Strategy Board Mr Tony O’Neill from Dunbia pork processors said that only 6,000 intensive farms were required.
Diane Greer from the campaign group stated that the Limavady campaign group supports family farms, especially the 20,000 family farms no longer required if these industrial scale corporate owned farms get the green light from the Planners and our Councillors. Diane said that many of the supporters for the Stop The Limavady Pig Factory campaign were local farmers and their families whose future in farming has been written off by the Agri Food Strategy Board.
Marcus Moore from Roe Angling Limited asked “how much more slurry can our rivers take?” He said that the NIEA 2016 Nitrates Report stated that 40.6% of river bodies fail water quality standards indicative of eutrophic conditions, 33.7% of river bodies fail Water Framework Directive Phosphorus Standards indicative of nutrient enrichment and 58% of lake water bodies fail water quality standards as well as 57% failing Phosphorus Standards.
The Stop the Limavady Pig Factory campaign group were also joined at their demonstration on Saturday by Zero Waste North West and representatives from the Stop the Newtownabbey Pig Factory campaign group.
Further public events and demonstrations are being planned by the group and the public are advised to follow their campaign on their Facebook page Stop the Limavady Pig Factory.
Image Credit : Aerial Vision NI