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Dickson says 'farms not factories' are best for communities and food welfare

Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson has helped launch a film criticising the intensive industrial meat production in Northern Ireland, saying we should be aiming for 'farms not factories' when it comes to agrifood. 

Mr Dickson was speaking after the screening of Pig Business in Northern Ireland at Parliament Buildings, which shows the impact the farms can have on neighbouring communities. Proposed 'mega farms' are planned for parts of Northern Ireland, with the factories designed to house around 20,000 pigs each. 

"This documentary is an opportunity to showcase the impact these farms will have on residents, whose lives will be afflicted by the emissions pumped out round the clock, while picturesque surroundings will be blighted by the farms," said Mr Dickson. 

"I was pleased to help launch this film and would encourage everyone to watch it to see for themselves the threat to public health the toxic brew of allergens, fungi, viruses, and bacteria can pose." 

His sentiments were echoed by colleague John Blair MLA, Alliance Environment spokesperson, who also attended the launch. 

"We both have constituents who live extremely close to current farms, who have told us of the impact they have had on every aspect of their lives, from the constant whirring of slurry pumps to the overpowering gas emissions. 

"My thanks go to those who produced and funded this film, as well as the residents in Newtownabbey and Limavady who have fought these proposed farms. The handful of jobs the farms would see is not worth the potential lasting damage they will cause to our environment."