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Dutch mega stables in Germany: an update

1. Alt Tellin

Near the village of Alt Tellin in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Adriaan Straathof wants to build a pig breeding factory with 10.000 sows and an “output” of 250,000 piglets a year. Right now, the official decision is still pending at the StAUN, the environmental administration of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. It is expected to be taken this year.

Meanwhile, the direct action resistance of mainly young people, which started last year shortly before our visit, continued and grew. During action days last summer and since then there have been blockades, mass mailings and graffities mainly against the Daberkower Landhof AG, which is about to sell the land in question to Straathof.

The Bürgerinitiative Tollensetal (local citizen group), on the other hand, became quite quiet since last year. There have been some internal conflicts about their role in the local elections, about who is to speak for them and also about how to position regarding the direct actions of the young activists.

2. Haßleben

In Haßleben, which lies a bit further to the south in the federal state of Brandenburg, huge abandoned pig breeding and fattening facilities from the former GDR already exist. Dutch agro-industrialist Harrie van Gennip wants to revitalise them and put 68.000 pigs in there.

A SEED has visited the vibrant Bürgerinitiative during the pig-tour. Since then, they continued their legal work, mass petitions and creative demonstrations with much energy. See the website from Kontraindustrieschwein.

Right now, the environmental administration of Brandenburg seems to decide about the formal allowance for the pig factory soon. The Bürgerinitiative is organising a big demo with activists from many different regions for June 12th.

Further plans

Apart from the old plans we learned about last year, there are also new mega projects of Dutch agro-industrialists. That’s already obvious from the existing plans, cause many of the planned facilities would create the need for other facilities in the production chain: For example, if Straathof succeeds in Alt Tellin, there will have to occur many new fattening factories in the same area to absorb the hundreds of thousands of piglets each year.

And it’s not only about pigs. Dutch agro-industrialist Martijn Ritzema, for instance, tries to build a broiler factory in the village of Strasburg, at the border of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Brandenburg. It would have the capacity for 400,000 chicken, “producing” about 3.2 million each year. He already succeeded in getting the local mayor on his side by promising money and employment for the village.

ImageResistance is rising

Since last year, the German resistance gained more momentum and a clearer shape. Two new german-wide networks emerged.

The first, “Bauernhöfe statt Agrarfabriken“, is basically a federation of the Bürgerinitiativen, some environmental NGOs and some animal welfare organisations. It’s focussing on informing people, demonstrating and lobbying the established politics.

The other one is a loose network of mainly young activists with an animal liberation perspective. They recently squatted the construction site of a planned broiler slaughterhouse in Wietze (Niedersachsen). The slaughterhouse is supposed to kill 27,000 chicken per hour resp. 135 million per year. The occupation of the field still goes on. If you are nearby, you can visit it to help or to bring some materials.