News Sustainable Food

Call to stop mega pig farm in Northern Ireland

Sustain member Friends of the Earth warns against the impact that a mega pig farm would have on animal welfare and the environment.

Pig in sty. Photo credit: Pexels

Pig in sty. Photo credit: Pexels

A mega-farm proposed at Limavady will produce 1.3 million tonnes of pig slurry every year. Friends of the Earth say that this will have dire implications for the environment of Northern Ireland, as well as animal welfare.

There is currently a strategic plan called Going for Growth from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs to increase factory farming in Northern Ireland. Untreated pig slurry contains high levels of ammonia. According to the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), 98% of Special Areas of Conservation have already exceeded critical thresholds for ammonia emissions at which ecological damage occurs. Friends of the Earth say that the proposed pig farm will create pollution that is equivalent to 12 million people. Northern Ireland has a population of 1.8 million people.

Friends of the Earth believe that the Limavady farm has wider significance for the rest of the UK. Post Brexit, as the UK seeks trade deals with countries that have lower environmental and welfare standards than the EU, what is happening in Northern Ireland could be the future for the whole country. It is vital that high standards are maintained after the UK leaves the EU. James Orr, director of Friends of the Earth Northern Ireland, said:

“Northern Ireland is already plagued by shocking levels of ammonia emissions. Releasing further ammonia from pig slurry into Northern Ireland’s ecosystems will lead to environmental disaster. Intensive agriculture and the associated problems with a massive increase in pig slurry cannot be the path to a healthy future for Northern Ireland.”

Causeway Coast and Glens Council say that the planning application (ref: LA01/2018/0965/F) remains under consideration and no opinion has been formed at this time.

Published Thursday 15 November 2018

Sustainable Food: What you can do - and ask others to do - to help make our food and farming system fit for the future.

Latest related news

Support our charity

Donate to enhance the health and welfare of people, animals and the planet.


The Green House
244-254 Cambridge Heath Road
London E2 9DA

020 3559 6777

Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

© Sustain 2024
Registered charity (no. 1018643)
Data privacy & cookies