Le problème avec les fermes porcines
L'établissement des fermes porcines dans nos communautés détruisent
le tissu social et l'environnement de la région.
De plus, les impacts sur la santé, l'environnement et l'économie locale
L'épandage du lisier sur les terres agricoles avoisinantes combinés avec
la contamination des nappes d'eau phréatiques par les lagunes
déféctueuses sont les principaux facteurs contribuants à la pollution
du bassin versant entourant la méga ferme.
The Problem of Hog
Atlantic Canada Chapter Sierra Club
og factories destroy the social fabric and the environment of the
area in which they situate themselves. They produce little or no
positive economic benefit to the area - often creating only one or two
long-term jobs at the expense of many more previously existing ones.
They are generally a ten to fifteen year project, after which, the
owners, having paid off the barn and realized a handsome return on their
investment (often at the public trough), will realize that they have
worn out their welcome, and call in the midnight movers. At this point,
even the most ardent supporters will want them removed and be supportive
of laws to prevent this Wild West of unregulated development. So, it's
pack the bags and head for the next unsuspecting environmentally
unregulated province or country. At the moment, the destination of
choice appears to be Latin America and Eastern Europe. After all, a hog
factory isn't quite as bad as Chernobyl.
(Photo: Neil Gardner)
What are the impacts on the community?
Emissions from hog factories have been shown to be a cause of
respiratory problems as well as mental stressors. A study by the
University of North Carolina as well as studies done in P.E.I. and Iowa
all show increases in respiratory disorders of up to 60 percent among
residents living within four miles of a hog factory. Hydrogen sulphide,
one of the main ingredients of the emissions from the factory, has been
proven, even in relatively low concentrations, to cause brain damage and
intellectual degradation, especially in children. Ammonia, another major
component of the emissions, is known to be dangerous to human health.
Leaks of this gas have resulted in people being evacuated from their
homes. Methane, yet another emission from the factory, is ten times more
damaging to the ozone layer than carbon dioxide.
(Photo: Neil Gardner)
The majority of the people are usually
against the project.
Smell, which affects wide areas around the factory, in some cases
hundreds of square kilometres:
- Prevents enjoyment of property. It
is impossible to eat outdoors in the summer, to use an air conditioner
at night, or to enjoy outside activities when the smell is present.
- Devalues property. Experience across Canada and in the U.S. shows
a devaluation of property of 20 to 30 percent in areas within the
- Splits apart the community. Usually a few
farmers support the project, believing that the manure is of value to
them, others will refuse the manure after weighing the possible benefits
and the known disadvantages. The majority of the people are usually
against the project leading to rifts both within the community as a
whole and within the farming community.
Many young people, as if they needed further reason, will leave the
area and not return, leading to the further depopulation of the rural
part of the country. Often the local citizens, if they try to defend
themselves against this intrusion into their environment, will be
subject to legal attacks, known as SLAPP suits (Strategic Lawsuit
Against Public Protest). These are legal actions that are intended to
force the public in the area to give in and accept the inevitability of
the hog factory. Unfortunately, in many cases, the citizens do give in.
These battles are long and hard. The enemy usually has strong political
connections and very deep pockets.
Tourism and hog factories do not mix. The odours will send the
tourists running, never to return. Who would spend hundreds and
sometimes thousands of dollars to breathe noxious toxic fumes? The golf
course in Bouctouche, near a local hog factory, lost many season ticket
holders and in some cases golfers would abandon the course due to the
Lagoons, are they doing their job?
contamination is a common problem with earthen lagoons
and, in fact, even when designed to the highest standards they will
leak. As well, there have been numerous cases of earthen lagoons
breaching, releasing their contents into
surrounding rivers and lakes as
well as contaminating local wells. Even concrete lagoons, while somewhat
safer, can overflow in severe weather and the concrete has been known to
crack and disintegrate causing leaching into the groundwater.
Fisheries, often already at risk, will disappear along with any
ancillary jobs in the packing plants. The manure getting into the rivers
will cause algae blooms which rob the water of the oxygen needed by the
fish to survive and can cause Pfisteria piscidia, a bacteria that causes
large skin lesions on both humans and fish, and can lead to death.
Sharing of the stinky resource…
Liquid manure spreading can be a serious problem, especially when
rules and recommendations are not followed. Spreading in the rain will
cause the manure to flow into surrounding waterways causing toxic algae
blooms and leading to fish kills. The Neuse River in North Carolina is a
classic example of this phenomenon at its extreme. Here, literally
billions of fish were killed as a result of hog factory lagoons
overflowing into the river as well as unregulated spreading from the
factories in the vicinity. In many cases the manure is spread by
automatic sprinklers that often run unmonitored, indiscriminately
spreading over all kinds of terrain and in all kinds of weather.