A campaign group in Wales has mounted a campaign against an ‘explosion’ in the number of poultry farms, claiming they are threatening the environment.
The Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) has urged ministers to come up with a “long term strategy” for the industry.
In Powys alone, 99 applications for new poultry sheds have been made since 2011, involving three million birds. All but one were granted permission.
The Welsh Government and a spokeswoman for the poultry sector pointed out it was highly regulated.
The rise in applications for poultry sheds is partly driven by Brexit, with farmers diversifying in case it becomes harder to export lamb and beef., as well as a rising demand for eggs and poultry meat in the domestic market.
CPRW said the geography of much of rural Wales coupled with its climate means it is “wholly unsuitable for the current explosion” of poultry units. It claims chicken manure is running into rivers and affecting plant diversity when spread on fields.
Airborne emissions of ammonia from the sheds are also being deposited on soil and plants, it has claimed. The petition calls on the Welsh Government to fund urgent research and provide up to date advice to the planning departments of councils.