Government spends millions on factory farms, despite looming ban

Giant factory farms received over €11m in government subsidies since the current government came to power in 2011, according to farm ministry figures.


The money was allocated to 101 farms.
In addition, some €20m in grants went to nine giant farms run by Dutch nationals abroad and €15m in loans to a further seven projects.
These projects lead to ‘better local animal welfare, more efficiency and improve the environment,’ farm minister Henk Bleker said in his statement.
One million chickens
Bleker drew up the figures in response to MPs’ questions following revelations earlier this year that one huge farm project in the Netherlands received €2.1m in subsidies, even though it breaks government guidelines on size. That farm will have one million chickens.
Animal rights party PvdD said in a reaction that Bleker should demand repayment of the subsidies because of the government’s plans to ban giant farms.
Bleker said he has no such plans because it is unclear if the ban on very large factory farms will become a reality.
The government defines a mega factory farm as one which has at least 225 cows, 7,000 pigs or 225,000 broiler chickens.
Bleker told parliament in June he wants to restrict farm sizes to a maximum 500 dairy cows, 10,000 pigs, 240,000 broiler chickens, 2,000 goats and 2,000 veal calves.
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