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Netherlands To Close Up To 3,000 Farms To Comply With EU Environment Rules

In another blow to Dutch farmers, the Netherland government is pushing to effectively shut down 3,000 “peak polluter” farms by purchasing them to comply with European emission standards.

Nature and Nitrogen Minister Christianne van der Wal said that farmers would be offered over 100 percent of farm value, but if voluntary measures fail, farmers will face forced buyouts. 

Van der Wal said “For agricultural entrepreneurs, there will be a stopping scheme that will be as attractive as possible,” in a series of parliamentary briefings. “For industrial peak polluters, we will get to work with a tailor-made approach and in tightening permits. After a year, we will see if this has achieved enough.”

Dutch Farmers Protesting

The plans to halve the country’s nitrogen output by 2030 sparked mass protests earlier this year, with farmers blocking supermarket distribution centres with tractors and lighting silage bags on fire. Signs expressing solidarity with Dutch farmers were displayed across Europe.

Protests were followed by the resignation of the Dutch agriculture minister Henk Staghouwer, who took to Twitter to say he was not the man for implementing the nitrogen legislation.

The latest announcement has sparked more protests, with police reportedly using force to remove farmers from the streets.

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