Coalition parties plan to buy out livestock farmers to cut pollution: AD

Animal farming is a major source of ammonia . Photo:

The four parties which are negotiatingon  a new coalition agreement are working on measures to cut the number of livestock farms in areas close to nature reserves, the AD reported on Monday.

The plan to cut the amount of nitrogen-based pollution produced by the farms will cost €20bn to €30bn to complete, the paper said, quoting sources close to the talks.

The plan involves either buying out farmers, moving their operations or giving them grants to do more in terms of nature management. ‘We want to sort it out properly,’ a source told the paper. ‘Farmers need to know where they stand.’

Livestock farming is a major source of pollution, via the ammonia in manure and a particular issue in Gelderland, Noord-Brabant, Overijssel and Drenthe.

In September, the Dutch environmental assessment agency published a number of scenarios about what could be done to tackle livestock farming, including compulsory purchase orders.

Compulsory buyouts are seen as an alternative to the low take-up of voluntary buyout offers. For example, fewer than 300 pig farmers signed up for a scheme to give up their business, although twice as many initially applied.

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