He explained – why the Netherlands is considering the proposal to cut animal numbers

The Netherlands is considering proposing to cut off the most radical animal numbers in Europe by 30 percent and force farmers to sell their land and even their land to the state.

What is the proposal?

In the Netherlands, the Ministry of Finance and Agriculture has proposed to reduce the number of animals by about one-third.

The Netherlands is the largest exporter of meat to the European Union. It is also one of the largest livestock industries in Europe, with over 100 million cattle, poultry and pigs. The country had an average of 14 goats, 93 cattle, 298 pigs and 2372 poultry per km 2 and 414 people per km 2 in 2018.

The resolution would force some farmers to sell their land to the state if necessary, and the number of animals should be reduced by 30 percent, The Guardian reported.

This comes in the wake of growing public debate in the country about the impact of animal production on human health and the environment. The debate resurfaced in 2007-10 after the quail outbreak in the country’s most populous zoo.

What is the reason behind such a plan?

The Netherlands is battling an acute climate crisis that has resulted in excessive nitrogen emissions. Animals are concerned about the release of nitrogen-containing ammonia when mixed with urine.

This ammonia, through agricultural waste, can enter reservoirs, during which excess nitrogen can damage the emotional natural environment. Nitrogen can lead to the depletion of oxygen on the surface of the water.

According to a study published last year in Elievier, animal production leads to alarming nitrate pollution.

According to the newspaper, “In addition to the effects on soil performance, nitrogen in the soil, mainly due to animal production, flows into the groundwater, mainly nitrate (NO3−) ውን at a rate of 47% in sandy soils (50 mg nitrate / L), 8 % Are not in the clay region, 60% of the farms in the Laos region, and none of the pea farms. Excessive standards affect drinking water production and water quality. Percentage of farming was different, especially in dairy farms.

The study also found that decomposition and irrigation of soil and groundwater can lead to erosion, resulting in nitrogen concentrations in the sand range between 50-65% and 40-60%. Clay region between 2011 and 2014.

In addition, the accumulation of nitrogen compounds in the acid and atmosphere can affect the earth’s ecology. According to the study, 60% of the country’s natural resources are vulnerable to high levels of nitrogen.

He added, “Livestock production in the Netherlands contributes approximately 40% of the total nitrogen reserves, especially ammonia emissions. Cattle contribute 63% to cattle, 21% to pigs, and 11% to poultry. Changes in total nitrogen accumulation do not significantly affect the significant changes in the load. At zero emission from livestock, the rate drops from 60% to 15%.

How serious is the crisis in the Netherlands?

Fighting the so-called “nitrogen crisis” is a major concern in the country.

In May 2019, the Dutch Council of State, the highest governing body in the Netherlands, violated EU law by failing to reduce the amount of nitrogen in vulnerable areas. The court stated that the Nitrogen Action Scheme (PSA) is not sufficient for a program to limit the effects of nitrogen.

After that, the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Food Quality was sent to the outside world to provide solutions to the problem. As a result, on December 17, 2020, a new law was passed by the Dutch Parliament to limit nitrogen emissions.

According to the World Agricultural Information Network, the new law sets three goals: 40% of the nitrogen-vulnerable areas of Natura-2000 must be below the required deposit (<255 mL / ha) by 2025; They should be below value, and the 74% nitrogen-2000 areas exposed to nitrogen should be below the critical storage value by 2035.

The law aims to halve nitrogen emissions due to construction and agriculture by 2035.

The Netherlands has taken other drastic measures to deal with the crisis, including limiting nitrogen oxide emissions to 100 km / h on motor roads and stopping gas-powered construction projects.

But greenhouse gas emissions are still a major concern in the country.

According to a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock sector contributes 18% to global greenhouse gas emissions. It emits 65% of the human-related nitrous dioxide, and its global temperature is 310 times that of CO2.

How did he react to the proposal to cut animal numbers?

Environmentalists welcomed the plan, saying it was a positive step to reduce nitrogen emissions in the country.

However, while farming groups strongly opposed the plan, ammonia was blocked from tractors by roadblocks.

According to Sonoma, head of public affairs at the Netherlands’ Agricultural and Vegetable Development Agency (ELTO), the government’s move to take land from farmers is a bad idea. “It is a land grab by the government that does not agree with good governance. Another reason is very practical – it takes five to seven years for you to get results, and in many cases it takes longer. We don’t have that time, and it’s really expensive, ”said Sonema.

The Guardian report also states that most parties want more voluntary action in this regard. In the Netherlands, the agricultural sector already has a 3% decline per year, many farmers have no one to take over, and forecast 40 to 50% decline in 10 to 15 years. “Forced conquest plans are” terrible to support and trust the government, “Boswick said.

Even when the law was approved by the Dutch parliament last year to reduce nitrogen emissions, there was strong opposition. Many parties, such as the PVV, the Green Left, the Animal Party, and the Labor Party (PvdA), have argued that the law has little interest in reducing nitrogen emissions.

The purpose of the forum, which voted against the law, was to reduce the agricultural sector. Elite said the law is difficult for the sector and has an “unattainable goal” for 2035.


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