Mega-cowsheds mushroom in the Netherlands
The number of ‘mega-sties and cowsheds’ in the Netherlands has more than doubled since 2005. There are now 242 ‘farm factories’ nationwide, says the Dutch environmental group, Milieudefensie.
More than half of the current 242 mega-sheds – the figure does not include buildings for battery hens - house cattle rather than pigs. This is a major change to the situation in 2005, when there were only 95 of the huge buildings, and the majority of them were for pigs.
Most of the mega-sheds are in the Dutch countryside in the south and east of the country. Environmentalists argue that the factory-farm developments are not only a menace to the farm animals’ health, but also cause problems for people living nearby, and for the environment in general.
Disease is said to spread easily between the closely packed cattle or pigs. The mega-sheds also produce huge amounts of dung which is said to constitute a risk of infection to humans.
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