Say NO again to Biggin Pig Factory Farm! | Viva!

Say NO again to Biggin Pig Factory Farm!

Late last year, Viva! objected to the extension of Biggin Farm in New Brancepeth, County Durham. This farm, which currently houses around 1,000 pigs in factory farm conditions, applied to Durham County Council to house another 4,000 pigs. The application was withdrawn in March 2018 due to almost 200 objections by local residents, consultees, and three Labour County Councillors.

Say NO again to Biggin Pig Factory Farm!

Despite the fact that the environmental social and animal welfare problems outlined then still remain, Biggin Farm is once again attempting to extend its dirty business in County Durham.

This time, the farm is attempting to extend its buildings so it can house an additional 2,000 pigs (planning application: DM/18/00864/FPA).

Importantly, the company involved (G&M Westgarth) in Biggin Farm has been charged with over 15 offences under the Animal Welfare Act and, according to The Times on 8th June, is due to appear in court for failing to provide 1,600 pigs with a suitable diet, housing and protecting them from pain and suffering on October 31 last year.

This second attempt at extending Biggin Farm is unacceptable! But we defeated its extension plans first time round, and we can do it again!

Contact Durham County Council by Friday 29th June 2018 and say NO again to this factory farm!

Please object by sending a PUBLIC COMMENT HERE using reference DM/18/00864/FPA.

Alternatively you can email the council and your objection will be registered:


“Dear Durham County Council Planning Department

I am writing to lodge a formal objection to the proposed extension of Biggin Farm - an intensive pig farm in New Brancepeth, Durham (planning application: DM/18/00864/FPA). 

As you know, this farm applied to Durham County Council to house 4,000 pigs last year. The application was withdrawn in March 2018 due to almost 200 objections by local residents and  consultees. Despite the fact that the environmental social and animal welfare problems outlined then still remain, Biggin Farm is once again attempting to extend its business in County Durham.

Animal welfare
I am
very much aware that animal welfare is not taken into account when planning proposals are considered. However, I feel that this is unfair and that the law requires revision in this regard. Further to this, I feel that the buildings (housing a projected combined total of 2,000 pigs) should be considered part of an industrial unit, rather than a farm, and as such I believe additional criteria, reflective to the scale, should be taken into account.

Risk to human health and environmental concerns
Intensive farming has often been cited as a breeding ground for disease, for example the relatively recent ‘swine flu’ pandemic that originated in an intensive pig farm. A recent study also indicated that potentially deadly superbugs can be spread by flies from pig farms to people living miles away and this could be of particular concern to residents in New Brancepeth and the surrounding areas. Having thousands of pigs in close proximity to residential areas is a potential health hazard, whichever way you look at it, and I firmly believe that the risk is simply too great. As a result I urge the council to reject these proposals.

I understand that there is a river south east of the proposed site, which may suffer from contamination due to muck spreading activities and runoff in heavy rains. Accidents with slurry storage are not uncommon, especially on intensive units such as that in the proposal, and should also be considered a threat to the local environment, with potential to harm fish residing in these waters.  

Ammonia emitted into the surrounding area from the farm will, without a doubt, have a detrimental impact on air quality and increase the negative effects on human health and the environment (including wildlife). Pig farms are notoriously smelly – and these smells can carry for long distances dependent on the direction of the wind.

Increased traffic
Typically, pigs raised for meat are killed at six months of age. This could reasonably mean that around 4,400 large animals will be transported off site to slaughter each year (2.2 x production cycle). In addition to this, the frequent deliveries of feed will significantly increase the amount of traffic on the A690 and B6302. It’s a heavy burden for single track roads in the local area to take and will likely raise the number of road traffic accidents and wildlife mortality rates.  

Jobs for local people
Intensive pig farms of this type tend to actually employ relatively few people. It is unlikely to be a major boom to the local economy.

This proposal is a significant development for the whole of the UK. Allowing it to proceed would set a dangerous precedent for the future intensification and factory farming in the UK. I strongly urge you to reject the proposed plans.

Yours faithfully”

[remember to add your name and address!] 

Thank you for taking the time to be active for pigs! Together we can end the scourge of factory farming.

Find out more about Viva!'s FACE OFF campaign for pigs
Donate: we desperately need donations to help secure more undercover footage and end animal suffering
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