Join us - OPPOSE this Intensive Cattle Feedlot - Protect our Drinking Water Catchment
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Urgent- Help stop the Jardana Pty Ltd Feedlot... Proposed in 'Our' Drinking Water Catchment
Important Notice; at this time Council is in receipt of a Third Application for this Development...
DA 25/20-21 a 1000 head Intensive Cattle Feedlot at Stonehenge
If approved by Council as the consent authority, this intensive feedlot will pose significant risks and impacts including cumulative impacts to the community, the local Beardy Waters Catchment, groundwater, Public health and safety implications, vulnerable and threatened biodiversity and ecosystems and significant animal welfare considerations.
The Previous Development Application approved by Council resulted in a Legal Challenge by the Community
The Development Application Documents can be accessed at the following link;
Following are areas of shared concerns throughout the community, related to this Development Application and the accompanying Statement of Environmental Effects...
Statement of Environmental Effects
Although large in quantity lacks substance and the required level of detail necessary in many critical areas (impacts/risks), not identified or adequately addressed. The Applicant has failed to identify, respond to, and address all risks and impacts and cumulative risks and impacts, and has failed to demonstrate how they would monitor, avoid, minimize, mitigate and manage these risks and impacts. These omissions will make it difficult for decision makers to assess the proposed development to the standards required in line with the applicable planning instruments, and community expectations. It is not sufficient for the Applicant to rely on assumptions and statements indicating they have various levels of ‘confidence’ with many of their non-evidenced control measures, and where many other potential risks and impacts are missing entirely. Such omissions prevent decision makers from undertaking a comprehensive, objective and meaningful development assessment, in line with the applicable planning instruments and community expectations.
Lack of Consultation
The Applicants DA highlights a noted lack of consultation with the Ngoorabul people who are identified as the cultural parties for the area, the immediate neighbours, the broader Glen Innes community, and other key stakeholders as required under various NSW planning instruments and council’s own integrated strategic and planning commitments.
Bio Diversity and Ecosystem Implications
This development will threaten the health of native wildlife and biodiversity of the local ecosystem. Intensive animal factory farms pose signiﬁcant negative environmental risks and impacts to our unique rural landscapes. Indeed, developments such as the proposed application have been an ongoing source of environmental damage and land use conflicts. Such instances have included toxic run off, soil, surface water and groundwater contamination, explosions and fires. Evidenced impacts on biodiversity frequently includes widespread animal displacement, loss of habitat, and the suffering and death of an increasing number of vulnerable, threatened and endangered wildlife. It is now estimated that around 3 billion animals were killed or displaced during Australia’s 2019/2020 bushfires. This tragic event has been described as the worst single event for wildlife in Australia, among the worst in the world, and is likely to push some species into extinction. Decision makers now have a clear responsibility to ensure we do not further contribute to this extinction trajectory.
The Precautionary Principle
The ‘precautionary principle’ must be applied in environmental planning decision-making with the conservation of biological diversity and ecological integrity being a fundamental consideration. The ‘precautionary principle’ requires decision-making to give the environment the benefit of the doubt. The proposed site topography and local historical weather patterns confirm that the proposed site is entirely unsuitable for a cattle feedlot.
Social and Economic Impact, Health & Wellbeing and Amenity
The risks and impacts to the local community, as well as the local Beardy Waters catchment, groundwater, threatened biodiversity and ecosystems are substantial. The proposed development will result in significant conflicts of land use, and amenity issues for immediate neighbours and will have a serious detrimental effect on their way of life and peaceful existence and physical and emotional health and wellbeing. The peaceful country life that community members value and seek is directly threatened by the development of intensive farming facilities that pose a risk to the environment, animal welfare, and the liveability of our rural Community.
Public Health and Safety
Globally, evidence confirms and experts agree that industrial, intensive farming - such as that proposed by the Applicant pose real and serious threats to public health and safety and the environment including natural resources and biodiversity.
Unfortunately lack of governance on our Drinking water Catchment means the protection of our precious Beardy waters is at risk. The irrigation of effluent and compost poses a serious risk to groundwater security.
In addition, extreme weather events with heavy rainfall - which are becoming more frequent as a result of climate change, would cause the property to be inundated with resulting runoff from the feedlot pens containing organic and mineralised manure constituents to result in a significant pollution event and ecological hazard. Even more concerning is the threat of an effluent holding pond spill as a result of high rainfall, which would cause catastrophic damage to the water system, death of aquatic animals and potentially impacts on human health. The risks and impacts are extreme based on the evidenced weather history and potential consequences.
Cattle farming, especially intensive farming in the form of feedlots, is extremely water intensive.The surrounding region and state has been drought declared for years, and we need to protect and preserve this precious resource for the benefit of all current and future generations.
The concentration, storage and dispersal of manure leads to high levels of local air and water pollution. In addition, runoff of nitrogen-rich manure into waterways can contribute to “dead zones”. Cattle feedlots generally also cause an imbalance of soil nutrients, particularly of nitrogen (N), increasing the N concentration in soil surface, which may eventually lead to water, air and soil contamination.
Waste and Pollution
There are significant concerns regarding the dispersal of the waste, storage, pollution and odour. This will undoubtedly attract vermin including flies, which will have an extremely negative impact on biodiversity and poses serious biosecurity risks. Poor waste containment and management practices can lead to outbreaks of disease.
Mortality Rates / Carcass Composting
In addition to the manure that will be produced, mortality rates are common with cattle feedlots, meaning large animals will be added to the compost ongoing. This will further exacerbate the presence of vermin, impact local biodiversity and pose additional biosecurity risks. The Applicant’s DA has not adequately responded to how they would address these risks and impacts.
Farming Practice Expectations
There has been a marked shift in public expectations about how we treat non-human animals including those raised for human consumption and by-products. The fate of industrially farmed animals is one of the most pressing moral, ethical and environmental dilemmas of our time. Tens of billions of sentient beings, each with complex sensations and emotions, live and die on a high volume, fast paced production line controlled by large and powerful agri-businesses. The Applicant has completely failed to address these considerations and changing government policy direction.
Feedlots involve cramped, fenced area where cattle are grain fed until they are ready for slaughter, unable to exercise and frequently found knee-deep in their own faeces. Often with no shelter. Living in these cramped, filthy conditions subject the cattle to stress and sickness, with common conditions including footrot, botulism, respiratory disease and liver abscesses.
RSPCA Australia as the leading ‘Animal Welfare’ authority oppose intensive animal agriculture for all the above inherent issues and conclude that “Intensive farming methods involve removing animals from their natural environments and keeping them housed or confined for all, or a large part, of their lives. They are raised in large numbers under controlled conditions, commonly involving use of hormones, antibiotics and vaccines” and, “the RSPCA opposes intensive farming practices that cause suffering or distress to animals, or that prevent the animal from moving freely and satisfying its behavioural, social or physiological needs.” Crowded, dirty and stressful conditions in which animals are kept necessitates the heavy use of antibiotics necessary to control disease and leads to antibiotic resistance, a now global issue for animals and humans alike. Ethical and moral considerations including cruelty to animals and public views and expectations about industrialised intensive animal agriculture are greatly heightened. Apart from facilitating private business, the proposed development offers no benefits to the local community.
Feedlot Waste Impacts
Waste can emit strong odours and pollute surface water and groundwater, because livestock produce prodigious amounts of faeces and urine. The risks and impacts to the environment and biodiversity are substantial including the depletion of precious and limited resources like water.
Rather than allowing damaging, intensive animal agriculture to flourish in the region, the Glen Innes Severn Council should instead look at encouraging and approving sustainable ventures that work in harmony with the environment and align with social expectations, council values and enrich the region, thereby improving the health and wellbeing of all current and future generations.
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