HPA Raises Concerns over Foston Pig Farm

UK - The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has raised strong concerns about the potential risk to public health of the proposed large-scale pig farm in South Derbyshire proposed by Midland Pig Producers.
calendar icon 2 November 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

Following thousands of letters from the public, Derbyshire County Council asked the HPA to submit evidence regarding the human health impacts of the proposed Foston Pig farm, an indoor pig farm for 2,500 sows and around 20,000 piglets, with 1,000 pigs going for slaughter each week.

Expert advice given by the HPA confirms the detailed scientific review of evidence from around the world, submitted by the Association last year, the Soil Association said.

The Association objected to the proposal on the grounds that the extremely high number of pigs housed in one location may increase the level of disease on the holding and over time that may pose a threat to the health of the local community.

A statement by the HPA said that “recent research has found that those living up to 150 metres downwind of an intensive swine farming installation could be at risk of adverse human health effects associated with exposure to multi-drug resistant organisms".

Regarding the proposal for Foston, the HPA said it believes that "the application does not provide detailed analysis and risk assessment of potential point source and fugitive emissions to air, of odour; particulate matter; ammonia; bioaerosols; or emissions from the proposed CHP plant".

The Soil Association says that the planning application for the pig farm does not give enough information about the risks to the public which could be caused by emissions from the site nor about the smell and other emissions from the proposed CHP plant.

Emma Hockridge, the Soil Association's head of policy, urged South Derbyshire District Councillors "to take this damning evidence from the HPA and the views of 13,000 members of the public, who have opposed this development on board when discussing this issue at their meeting. The opinion of the HPA backs up our original submission to the council which highlights the potential human health impacts of this development."

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