A CHARITY campaigning for sustainable farming has called for plans for a pig farm near Uttoxeter to be thrown out.
Midland Pig Producers (MPP) has been locked in a battle with protestors for nearly four years after entering plans to build the farm next to HMP Foston Hall.
Now the Soil Association, founded by farmers, scientists and nutritionists worried about how farming practices affected human and environmental health, has written to MPP.
It wants MPP to scrap its plans, which have received 20,000 objections, citing research suggesting large-scale pig farming increases disease levels and resistance to antibiotics.
Emma Hockridge, Soil Association head of policy, said: “People in Foston have lived under the shadow of this development for years now and it’s caused them considerable stress.
“Large-scale industrial farms can produce food more cheaply in the short term, but we risk ending up paying a price in terms of the loss of antibiotics saving millions of lives, to say nothing of the cost to the animals.”
An MPP spokesman said: “It’s disappointing the planning process has taken much longer than anyone imagined.
“The timescales were hindered initially by the need to resubmit the proposal to the county council instead of the district council, as originally requested.
“The process has since been extended to accommodate a long line of queries and requests on every possible angle.
“Disease and the need for antibiotics is controlled by good standards of hygiene, welfare and management systems in which MPP has a long record of exemplary performance.
“Debate on the use of antibiotics is something for the national representative groups, not us.
“Despite scaremongering, there’s no UK evidence pig units near to houses poses any risk.”