Stop the chicken mega factory in Higham Ferrers

I received an email a couple of weeks ago from Compassion in World Farming saying about the building of a chicken mega-farm close by. The email was targeted to me. It said “Hello Samuel” and something along the lines of it being proposed to be built “just up the road”. I skimmed over it and saved it as a bookmark to look back on and properly research when I had more time.

Yesterday, I was clearing down my emails and I saw one from TheyWorkForYou. Side note: this is a wonderful website which documents, verbatim, what what said in parliament. Of course, I have it set up to send me emails every time my Member of Parliament, Peter Bone, speaks. Generally, it is about us leaving the European Union, and the fact, in his opinion, we are not doing it fast enough, or correctly, or something like that. Or him speaking about his upset at MPs being allowed to speak without the need to wear a tie as he feels it loses gravitas.

Anyway, I was about to delete the email but as I skimmed it “chicken”, “factory”, “farm” and “Higham Ferrers” popped up. I remembered back to the email above. Only Higham Ferrers?! That’s not far at all. I cycle through there sometimes. I decided to read the whole speech by Mr Bone. I have to say, I am impressed with his speech as it is full of facts and conviction and dare I say it, consideration for the people of Higham Ferrers and surroundings who feel so strongly about this.

Read the Compassion in World Farming link, or Bone’s speech or the East Northamptonshire planning portal to find out about the proposals in more detail.

In brief, there is a proposal to build 10 chicken houses to rear broiler chickens in roughly 38 days cycles. They are born, raised, fattened and killed and then the cycle starts all over again. The waste they produce isn’t cleared away until after they are slaughtered . They live in their own muck. The proposal will bring 540,000 chickens equating to roughly 22 per square metre. Their lives, albeit short, will be a misery. Factory farming causes the concentration of acids from the animals’ waste which subsequently burns the legs, beaks and can cause irritation in their eyes. Living in these conditions can induce heart attacks.

Northamptonshire currently has, it total, a quarter of a million indoor-reared chickens. They never see the light of day. This is sad. This mega-factory will bring the entire county’s numbers to a massive 750,000. British farming should not have to turn into a factory. It isn’t sustainable.

As well as the animal welfare issues listed above, there are other problems too. In terms of the waste generated, it is paramount to ensure the correct and safe removal of this as it cannot be allowed to pollute the environment. Additionally, the smell from the live chickens, and from their waste, especially during periods of hot weather may be problematic. Flies may be attracted. There are numerous environmental concerns and issues with air pollution.

Please go on the East Northamptonshire’s planning portal and quote reference 17/01328/FUL and make your voice heard. Focus it on issues related to planning – issues with the pollution of its construction, for example. Sadly, animal welfare will not be directly considered for planning but the decision makers do have a heart, so mention it.

Speak soon,

Samuel

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