The Government wants beef farms to house a maximum of 850 head

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01/07/2022 at 18:39 CET

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The Ministry of Agriculture wants to limit cattle farms to a maximum of 850 head, a limit much lower than the up to 10,000 denounced by Minister Alberto Garzón in a statement to the British newspaper “The Guardian”, unauthorized by the Government itself.

A decree that regulates this matter is already in public information, since last fall, which, in theory, its publication in the BOE is imminent.

It establishes a limit to the maximum capacity that cattle farms can have and establishes it at 850 units of larger cattle, that is, 725 milking cows or 1,400 fattening calves.

Garzón recommended moderate meat consumption, especially from macro-livestock farms, and questioned the quality of meat exports from these farms, taking for granted that they exist in Spain.

His words have been unauthorized by the Government spokesperson, Isabel Rodríguez. The Anafric meat business association, the Agrarian Association of Young Farmers (Asaja) and the Union of Small Farmers (UPA) have requested his resignation.

The minister has defended himself, highlighting that he differentiated between extensive livestock and macro-farms, and that he attributed to the former being sustainable and to the latter, “with 4,000, 5,000 or 10,000 heads & rdquor ;, He accused them of polluting the soil and water and producing meat of worse or poor quality destined for export, and also after mistreatment of animals.

Sources from the UPA association and the sector indicate that There are no 10,000 head beef farms in Spain, but a minority with a maximum of 5,000 heads. In addition to the fact that the same government of which Garzón is a part is setting limits so that they do not proliferate, they add.

Next regulation

The decree on beef cattle, to which . has had access, establishes housing and feeding conditions for the farms, that is, avoid the mistreatment of animals, also denounced by Garzón.

“The authorization of a farm is the responsibility of each autonomy, but there are national regulations that they have to comply with. Y from a size, in addition, they need integrated environmental authorization, which is also the responsibility of the Autonomous Communities & rdquor ;, say sources from the Ministry of Agriculture in conversation with ..

The decree will affect newly created farms, but not existing ones, which will have to comply, yes, the standards established in environmental matters and animal welfare, according to sources from the Ministry.

Greenpeace, that maintains, like Ecologists in Action, a campaign against macro-farms, has made allegations to this decree, demanding that it force the reconversion of these surfaces that currently exist and that it establish a maximum of 180 copies.

From the Union of Small Farmers (UPA), the majority in the sector, they point out that in our country, which mainly exports pork and beef, there is only a minority of farms of a few thousand cows.

And they consider that they will not exist anymore in the future, due to the strategy agreed by this organization and the Ministry of Agriculture.

Small farmers

Román Santalla, head of livestock at UPA and farmer himself, explains that “From UPA we defend small and medium-sized farms, and we have worked hard for this decree. In pigs there are no macro farms: a recent decree limits the number of heads & rdquor; to 750 dams and 4000 fattening places.

“And now we are working on beef. We are breaking our horns to move forward with this matter, because we defend the family model of livestock exploitation, we oppose a 20,000 cow farm & rdquor ;, explains Santalla, before pointing out that 85% of the sector is made up of small and medium-sized family businesses.

Macrogranja de Noviercas (Soria)

One of the first to accuse the Garzon of attacking the meat sector It was the president of Castilla y León, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, who is in full electoral pre-campaign.

It is precisely in a town in that community, in Noviercas (Soria), where it is located one of the main current projects of industrial macrofarm, although planned for milk production.

According to UPA, with this decree projects like the one in Noviercas will not be possible. Greepeace, however, has indicated in its allegations to the Royal Decree that the wording of the same should be changed since, as it is, the Noviercas project will continue.

The truth is that, according to technicians consulted by ., Once the Noviercas procedure has started, it goes ahead.

It could in any case be challenged in court Based on the regulations that are about to be approved, because the Noviercas project exceeds 20,000 heads.

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