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Powys Mega-Dairy Approved

03 November 2011

WALES, UK - Powys County Council voted 6-5 in favour of allowing the 1000 cow mega-dairy to be built next door to a school in Welshpool, reports World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA).

Councillors were advised to reject the application, but Powys planning committee voted in favour. A council spokesman said: “The committee is minded to approve the application subject to a report being brought back before the committee on outstanding issues.”

Talking to WSPA, local campaigners discussed their concerns that the development will do significant harm to Powis Castle and will scar the landscape.

Campaigners also stated their concerns over risks to the health of pupils at school and local residents.

There was also a concern over the risk of groundwater pollution in the area surrounding the farm, something which previously had been raised by the Environment Agency and the Powys County Council planning officers.

Simon Pope, WSPA head of external affairs said: “The decision by Councillors to ignore their own experts, their constituents and wider public opinion is astonishing."

“Voters will have a chance to tell those who supported the application how they feel at the next local elections in May. But the implications of this decision will be felt much more widely than in the heart of Wales. This is a dark day for the dairy industry."

Stephen James, NFU Cymru Deputy President said: "The dairy industry has changed a lot over the past 20 years as farmers take advantage of new technologies in breeding, milking and farming systems. This progress is not something to fear; it means that we are constantly finding new and better ways to manage our cows while continuing to deliver to consumers the huge range of quality, British dairy products they enjoy."

"Clearly food security is increasingly important. On a global level it is of absolute importance that the world is able to feed itself; but it is equally misguided to conclude that food production in our own country and indeed our own locality simply does not matter."

"The challenge in the 21st century is to increase productivity, maximise output, minimise inputs, environmental sustainability and adapt to a changing climate - all of these challenges are ones which British, Welsh and local agriculture is very well placed to meet."

"The proposal at Lower Leighton Farm seeks to do just that, and farmer Fraser Jones is rising to these challenges and we are pleased that the planning system in this instance has seen the benefits of the proposal for expansion and use of new technologies to assist in improved efficiencies and reducing carbon emissions."

"British farmers adhere to world-leading standards of hygiene and animal welfare, and consumers can be confident they are buying milk and dairy products from farms operating to these standards by looking for the Red Tractor logo."

"NFU Cymru is committed to working with dairy producers to maintain the world leading standards to which we produce milk and believe that regardless of farm size, producers will maintain the high standards of welfare and quality that British consumers expect them to meet."

TheCattleSite News Desk



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