A MAJOR political figurehead has given her support to villagers fighting against plans for one of the largest pig farms in the country.
Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party, has joined protestors to condemn Midland Pig Producers’ (MPP) application to erect the farm in Foston.
It comes after actor Dominic West also pledged his support to protestors in 2011.
Ms Bennett, joined by her party’s European Parliament candidate, Katarina Boetgge, met with the Foston Community Forum to discuss their campaign.
She heard residents’ health concerns – including alleged exposure to drug-resistant infections caused by pigs being given pre-emptive anti-biotics.
She said: “Everything I have heard here reinforces my, and the Green Party’s, commitment to ending factory farming in the UK.
“It is not only inhumane, but carries significant and unjustifiable costs for residents and the wider public, all the while undermining the work of responsible independent farmers and a future of robust rural economies.
“I urge Derbyshire County Council to reject this planning submission, and the Environment Agency to withhold an environmental permit, as a matter of urgency”.
An MPP spokesman said: “There is no UK evidence that citing a pig unit near to residential areas poses any risk at all.
“In fact, humans are more likely to pass bugs to pigs not the other way around. Disease is controlled by good standards of hygiene, welfare and management systems and has nothing to do with the size of the farm.
“Allegations about antibiotic resistance and disease have previously been corrected and clarified by the National Pig Association – the national representative body.
“However, to allay any concerns regarding health issues, we have repeatedly offered to talk to the professional medical advisors of those raising the subject to enable us to clarify the situation and provide reassurance through verified facts. To date, we have had no response.
“With regard to size, this farm will not even be the biggest pig farm in the UK. There are others, larger than we propose, already up and running.”