Plan to cut protein levels in animal feed are dropped due to ‘minimal’ impact

Animal farming is a major source of ammonia . Photo:

Plans to cut the amount of protein in feed for the dairy industry have been dropped, because the impact on the amount of nitrogen in manure will be ‘minimal’, broadcaster NOS said on Wednesday.

The plan was one of a range of measures to cut pollution caused by the livestock industry, and so allow the construction sector to build more homes. Many building projects are on hold because the Netherlands is exceeding official nitrogen-based pollution limits.

Farmers had mounted a vociferous campaign against the measure, saying it would damage the health of dairy cows.

Farm minister Carola Schouten then asked experts at Wageningen University to recalculate the impact of the protein cut on the environment, which, the researchers now say, would be ‘minimal’.

The government has set a target of reducing ammonia output by 200 tonnes, which Schouten says will allow 75,000 new homes to be built this year, and help solve the housing shortage.

The Council of State last May said the government must limit nitrogen compound emissions through stricter regulations for the farming, transport and construction sectors.

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