Foston pig farm firm responds to animal cruelty claims

Protest in Derby
Image caption About 100 protesters marched against the plans in Derby on Saturday

The company behind a proposed large-scale pig farm in Derbyshire has hit out at "misleading" claims surrounding its plans.

A demonstration was held at the weekend by animal rights campaigners in Derby over the planned facility near Foston.

Midlands Pig Producers (MPP) said allegations its pigs would be kept in cramped conditions were untrue.

The farm would hold 2,500 sows and 20,000 piglets and use biogas from the slurry to produce electricity.

Cruelty concerns

MPP has finished giving extra information to Derbyshire County Council as part of the planning process.

It said it had addressed concerns about animal welfare and emissions.

A company spokesman said: "We are astonished at some of the highly misleading claims and accusations.

"Claims that pigs will be crammed into narrow crates are simply not true.

"Our acclaimed 360 Farrowers were named because the sow can turn around 360 degrees at will.

"We urge people to either contact us, or refer to the planning application so that they may ascertain the facts of the matter for themselves."

About 100 animal rights protesters marched through Derby on Saturday claiming the large-scale development would be cruel to pigs.

'Highest standards'

Critics said that the only time the pigs would see the outside world would be on their way to slaughter.

It has also been claimed the site could put small-scale farmers in the area out of business.

MPP said the farm would observe the highest welfare standards and pointed out there was already a unit in the UK containing 3,500 sows.

South Derbyshire District Council handed over duties for dealing with the application to the county council because of its waste implications.

If planning permission is given, construction on the farm will take about a year.

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