Animal rights campaigners have slammed West Lindsey District Council for approving plans for a “monstrous egg farm” with 32,000 hens in Laughterton, jesting whether the council is “playing a cruel April Fool’s Day joke on local residents”.
This comes after P A Arden & Son’s plans were unanimously approved by councillors on Wednesday evening‘s Planning Committee for a free range poultry unit to be built on 16 hectares of land at Naylors Hills off Newark Road.
A decision was delayed in February 2021 after more than 40 objections were received and a PETA petition now with over 15,000 signatures to stop plans was submitted.
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is a global non-profit organisation and charity dedicated to protecting the “rights of all animals.”
Elisa Allen, PETA UK’s director, commented in a statement: “Is West Lindsey District Council’s planning department playing a cruel April Fool’s Day joke on local residents?
“If not, the council has made an insupportable, high-handed political decision that ignores 15,000 signatories on a petition strongly opposing a monstrous egg farm and turned a blind eye to cruelty to animals – in this case, thousands of hens.”
She added: “In approving this hell on earth for chickens, which will bring with it traffic, noise, pollution, and stench, council members have shown they lack foresight, common sense, and respect for residents and other animals.
“Anyone who finds this decision appalling must take personal responsibility by ditching eggs, helping the cruel egg industry collapse for a lack of consumers to support it.”
In Wednesday’s Planning Committee, Councillor Judy Rainsforth said: “We always get a lot of bother every time a poultry farm rears its head, yet the majority like to eat chickens and the eggs.”
She added: “I’m afraid a few chickens strutting around in a farmyard just isn’t going to do it, we need these places.”
Mr Oliver Grundy, the agent for the application previously said: “The farming operation will be associated with our recipes to make freedom foods, which seek to promote the highest animal welfare standards.”
It was said in the meeting more jobs will be created on site and existing jobs on the farm will be supported. The plans also say it will not have an effect on the air quality or highways.