Farmers in the Netherlands are blocking supermarket distribution centers with tractors and spreading manure outside of officials’ homes.
At the end of last month, the Dutch government unveiled a plan to slash 50% of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and ammonia by 2030, according to a report from ABC News. As the government acknowledged in a statement, “The honest message… is that not all farmers can continue their business.”
In response, roughly 40,000 farmers gathered to protest the plans, blocking traffic across the country as they drove slowly in their tractors. “Some have dumped hay bales on roads, and small groups demonstrated at town and city halls, in some cases starting bonfires outside the buildings,” ABC reported, noting that other farmers “set hay bales ablaze.”
Urine and dung produced by livestock are a source of ammonia and nitrous oxide emissions, according to a study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine. NASA satellites have linked agricultural regions to higher atmospheric ammonia concentrations, which lead to “poor air and water quality.”
On Monday, farmers continued their protests by blocking supermarket distribution networks, with fishermen blocking ports in a sign of solidarity, according to a report from German state-owned news outlet Deutsche Welle. Dutch government data show that the Netherlands’ policies could shutter 30% of livestock farms.
The Netherlands exported €94.5 billion — roughly $98.5 billion — of agricultural goods in 2019, according to a report from the nation’s agriculture ministry. A majority of the goods are shipped to other European countries.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte condemned the protests. “You can demonstrate, but in a civilized way,” he remarked at a NATO summit last week in Madrid, per the Associated Press. “So don’t block highways, don’t set off fireworks outside a minister’s house and spread manure and … scare two children, and endanger families.”
Indeed, protesters left manure on a street near the home of Christianne van der Wal, the minister leading the Netherlands’ anti-pollution efforts.
This is an excerpt from The Daily Wire.
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