How the rise in intensive farming is putting pressure on the environment

An extra 9.9 million chickens per year sounds like a lot. However, given the nation’s ravenous appetite for poultry, it barely registers.

This is the approximate tally of extra birds allowed to be raised in the first 10 months of 2018 according to Environment Agency (EA) permitting decisions taken up to the end of October. It issued five permits for new intensive farms, and six variations, the largest among them allowing 300,000 chicks to be slaughtered about seven and a half times a year.

In all, the sector accounted for more permitting decisions than any other: 17 of 104 permits issued or modified and 8 of the 39 issued as new. With pigs included too, intensive farming was responsible for around a quarter of permitting activity, during the period.

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