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Nick Hill

Over 5,500 residents object to Rufforth chicken farm plans

More than 5,500 people have submitted objections against plans to build a new chicken factory farm in Rufforth, near York, which is intended to hold up to 288,000 animals.

City of York Council has been urged to reject the application, in response to a campaign by Animal Aid and local residents.

Among those calling for the development to be turned down are Julian Sturdy MP (Con, York Outer) and York Gliding Centre.

A similar proposal by the same farmer did not go ahead after the application was withdrawn in March, but amended plans have since been submitted.

Animal Aid, a national animal protection society, argues that the industrial farm, if approved, will cause hundreds of thousands of chickens to suffer in close confinement.

The animal rights group also points out that the application presents serious public safety implications for users of nearby Rufforth Airfield and is likely to have a negative impact on quality of life for those who live nearby.

Intensive farming also presents an increased risk of spreading diseases, such as avian flu, campylobacter and salmonella.

Luke Steele, Animal Aid Farming and Slaughter Campaigns manager, said: “Aside from causing a great deal of animal suffering, it is clear that plans for a chicken factory farm in Rufforth could have a significant impact on local quality of life.

“The intensive facility, which will hold up to 288,000 animals, will likely result in pungent smells and there is a very real risk posed by the spread of disease.

“Animal Aid urges City of York Council to listen to the 5,500 objections and reject this ill-thought out proposal.”

Lynne Edwards, local campaigner, added: “I believe that Animal Aid has footage taken at one of the Applicant’s other farms showing dead birds exposed to the open air which carries a significant risk to human health.

“The new farm could impede on the villagers’ quality of life by way of heavy traffic, noise, smells and the increased risk of flooding and it must be rejected,” says Lynne Edwards, a local campaigner.

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