Friends of the Earth Northern Ireland

A Limavady farmer who wants a future for the countryside and the brakes put on industrial megafarms

Vincent, a 53 year old farmer from the Roe Valley, is the third generation of his family to farm in this region. With the advent of BSE, Vincent became disillusioned with industrialised farming and sought to establish his own farm based on the sustainable dairy farming practices of his father and grandfather.

In 2015 just as Vincent started to establish his herd of dairy goats, a planning application was made for a large pig farm situated just 500 metres from his farm. This industrial scale pig farm was proposing to produce over 60,000 pigs per year along with over 20,000 tonnes of pig slurry and contaminated water.


After research he discovered that the greatest risk from these industrial scale farms was the transfer of antibiotic resistant pathogens such as MRSA to communities living nearby. This lead Vincent to start to question the statutory bodies responsible for regulating these industrial scale farms and in doing so Vincent discovered many incidences when these bodies had failed to implement the regulations or planning policies.

Vincent says that he is not an environmental or animal welfare “campaigner” but the more questions he has asked the more alarmed he has become at the lack of protection of the public, animals, and the environment by the bodies responsible for enforcing the regulations.

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