The Netherlands now has some 242 ‘mega’ factory farms for cows and pigs compared with just 95 five years ago, according to environmental organisation Milieudefensie.
The organisation bases its claims on research by Wageningen University institute Alterra. A mega farm is defined by Alterra as one which has 7,500 pigs or 250 dairy cows or 2,500 veal calves.
Most of the mega farms are in Noord-Brabant, Overijssel, Limburg and Gelderland provinces, where they have generated considerable local protest.
The Netherlands is one of the most animal intensive farming countries in the world, with annual production of 450 million animals and birds for consumption.
The move towards mega farms is part of ongoing consolidation with farming. Last year, the Netherlands had some 50,000 livestock farms, compared with 78,000 10 years ago.
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