The 260 residents of the Huesca town of Bailo, close to Jaca, have come together to tear down a planned macro-pig farm and are on the way to achieving it. Their mobilization, with the support of the Stop Purines Pueblos Vivos platform, has reached the municipal plenary session, which last week approved the suspension of the granting of licenses for new intensive agricultural facilities on all the undeveloped land of the municipality for a year. A debate is now being opened on the incidence of these projects and the study of the possible modification of the General Urban Planning Plan (PGOU).
Tocilandia runs amok: a macrofarm will generate 20,000 liters of slurry per day next to a town with contaminated river and aquifer
According to Stop Purines Pueblos Vivos, the possible establishment of a farm with 7,200 pigs in Larués – a district of Bailo – would mean the production of 18,000 pigs per year next to the Arrié ravine, two kilometers from the town and with a prevailing wind towards the town . “The farm can consume 72 cubic meters of water a day, the same figure as a family of four in six months. In addition, it would produce 15.5 million liters of slurry – excrement mixed with remains of feed, antibiotics and products. cleaning–, which is equivalent to almost 5 Olympic slurry pools a year, “they point out.
Apart from generating bad odors, the slurry contaminates land and groundwater with nitrates, “to the point that in some villages with farms they cannot drink tap water.” If the project is completed, “heavy vehicle traffic will increase exponentially, exploiting a secondary road that crosses the urban area, with the degradation and danger that this entails”, and “this may lead to a possible emigration of families through the alteration of the quality of life and the threat to all activities, closing the way to development routes such as rural tourism or inhabitants who can telework “.
This type of “highly mechanized” farms generate “very few jobs, one or two at the most, so they do not combat depopulation. Quite the contrary: the negative impact of the project on the service sector may mean the loss of four stalls and the closure of the only establishment that gives hope to the people “, add from Stop Purines Pueblos Vivos.
Nearby municipalities such as Berdún, Jaca or Sabiñánigo achieved in their day the suspension of projects of this type of farms with the modification of specific regulations, “leaving Bailo as the only option for this type of business”, according to the platform, which fears that “if we do not act, this situation can be extended to the different localities of the municipality “. “What they want to build is a remote controlled meat factory that is going to turn us into a dung heap. We are part of a plan to enrich a few at the expense of the health and well-being of those of us who live in Larues and the rest of neighboring towns, “they fear.
The moratorium approved by the city council now includes the neighborhood discontent. The council recalls that it is part of the Protected Landscape of San Juan de la Peña and Monte Oroel and has several areas declared ZEPA (Special Protection Area for Birds) and SCI (Site of Community Interest) and that it has been a “pioneer” in the establishment of the measures that regulate pig farms with a PGOU approved in 2017 and that was taken as an example in other municipalities in the province of Huesca. Since then, the pig sector has evolved and it is believed necessary to re-study the PGOU and carry out a new assessment of the production model that is intended.
In May, the purchase by a company dedicated to intensive pig farming of a plot located upstream from the town of Lierta was revealed on the place where, today, the drinking part of the water is captured. “This firm has already requested an activity license from the City Council on which it has issued, incomprehensibly, a favorable urban development report. It is not only a problem of the amount of water that an exploitation of this type consumes but, in addition, these exploitations generate a huge quantity of slurry, the discharge of which would lead to an even greater contamination of our water, “lamented the neighborhood association at the time.
Last January, a group of 30 residents of Graus launched a campaign to collect signatures to ask the city council of the capital of the Ribagorza region for a moratorium of at least 13 years for the start-up of new facilities or the expansion of the existing pig farms in the municipality. They clung to some water analysis that they describe as “alarming” some samples collected at various points in the Torres del Obispo area, a nucleus of 150 inhabitants that belongs to Graus, and the Sarrón Valley. According to these tests, in six of these points, nine in total, the water is not suitable for human consumption because it exceeds the maximum levels of nitrates and fecal bacteria allowed.