Counting on … day 1.067

10th March 2023

“Livestock  produce manure which, when mixed with urine, releases ammonia, a nitrogen compound. If it gets into lakes and streams via farm runoff, excessive nitrogen can damage sensitive natural habitats by, for example, encouraging algae blooms that deplete oxygen in surface waters.” 

This is a particular problem in countries and regions where there is a high concentration of farm animals such as in the Netherlands. In December 2021 the Dutch government “launched 13-year multibillion-euro plan,[ which] includes paying some Dutch livestock farmers to relocate or exit the industry, and helping others transition to more extensive (as opposed to intensive) methods of farming, with fewer animals and a bigger area of land. It will start as a voluntary programme, with compensation offered to livestock farmers asked to leave. “In the end, it might be necessary to stop negotiating as a last resort, but the basis is voluntary,” said de Groot. The end result is expected to be close to a one-third reduction in the numbers of pigs, cows and chickens in the country.”

Author: Judith Russenberger

Environmentalist and theologian, with husband and three grown up children plus one cat, living in London SW14. I enjoy running and drinking coffee - ideally with a friend or a book.

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