Public Protesting Stalls Opening of UK’s Largest Factory Farm

Angry letters and 200,000 petition signatures force factory farm to scale back operations.


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Plans to expand Northern Ireland’s Hall’s Pig Farm into the United Kingdom’s largest factory farm have been delayed due to public objection. Earlier this year, farm developer Derek Hall submitted plans to increase his farm into a large-scale operation with 30,000 pigs and an animal waste lagoon. Local residents and green groups wrote nearly 1,000 letters and tallied 200,000 signatures to stop the expansion, citing environmental and residential health hazards and animal-welfare issues. To counter the negative attention, Hall said he would submit new plans to the Antrim & Newtownabbey Council which would reduce the number of animals he intends to confine at the new facility. While stunting the progress of this large-scale operation is a small victory, many objecting groups are disappointed that the farm will expand at all. “Virtually no jobs will be created,” James Orr, director of North Ireland environmentalist group Friends of the Earth, said, “and when we industrialize our food production, we destroy our clean, green image.”