Netherlands: Thousands of farmers protest govt. proposal to reduce emissions from livestock

An estimated number of two thousand farmers rallied in the town of De Bilt in the province of Utrecht on Wednesday to decry government plans to cut the amount of protein in animal feed in an effort to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced with manure. «It will be very harmful to the health of cows, of groups of cows, so you shouldn't do so. And still, our minister wants to continue this, so it's going to be a law from the 1st of September until the end of December and the farmers don't want to participate in it because it is dangerous to the health of our animals,» explained a member of Farmers Defence Force Sieta van Keimpema at the rally. Protesters suggested the Dutch government was targeting the farming industry with strict climate measures and disregarding other sectors, including farming, airline and construction industry. The protest took place in the surroundings of De Bilt where the Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM in Dutch) is located. Farmers were not allowed to drive their tractors to the rally to prevent traffic chaos.

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