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NPA Urges Planners to Look at Facts of Foston Plan

14 December 2011, at 4:05pm

UK - The National Pig Association (NPA) has written to planners in a bid to bring some balance to the Soil Association's "distinctly selective" criticisms of Midland Pig Producers' application to build a pig unit and anaerobic digester at Foston, in Derbyshire.

The Soil Association, which opposes the Midland Pig Producers application, has claimed, among other things, that the pig unit could cause swine flu.

The Soil Association is incorrect in its assumption that there are higher levels of swine flu on 'large' British pig farms, says NPA. It is also wrong when it claims the Dutch government is proposing a 900-sow limit on new pig farms in Holland.

And it is wrong yet again when it claims anaerobic digesters are unsafe. Its interpretation of the Foston application is "entirely incorrect", says NPA.

The Soil Association also claimed the proposed Foston development could be an MRSA risk. But MRSA has not even been detected in the United Kingdom pig population, says NPA.

"It is primarily a hospital-acquired infection in the United Kingdom, and livestock do not play any role in its transmission."

In the NPA's letter to planners, chairman Stewart Houston said: "As per previous Soil Association submissions, the information highlighted has been distinctly selective."

He has urged planners to be guided by the facts and supporting documents, as submitted by Midland Pig Producers in its planning application.