The Dutch Agricultural and Horticultural Organization (LTO Netherlands) and the Dutch Agricultural Youth Contact (NAJK) have left consultations with Minister Carola Schouten (Agriculture) about the cattle feed measure. The organizations said on Thursday that it would be pointless to continue talking as long as the sector’s alternative plan is labeled “impracticable”.
The sector is also still awaiting the calculation by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL). The LTO emphasizes that even with a positive calculation, “steps must be taken to restore confidence”.
The PBL is looking at three animal feed plans: from the ministry, from the sector and a combination of both plans. A spokesman for Minister Schouten said that these calculations will be completed in August. “Now is a good time to talk again. Everyone agrees, the ministry and the agricultural sector, that nitrogen reduction can be implemented through feed measures. In August we should discuss how we can do this in the best possible way.”
On Wednesday, the farmers demonstrated again against the cattle feed measure. Schouten wants cows to receive less protein-rich concentrates from 1 September, because this reduces nitrogen emissions. This allows more houses to be built.
According to the farmers, less protein in feed leads to health problems in the animals. Minister Schouten previously stated in a letter to parliament that he wanted to discuss the measure with experts. “Should it emerge from this that additional animal health risks are to be expected, I will adjust the scheme accordingly,” said the minister.
LTO announced on Thursday that the ministry’s measure should be dismissed according to the sector.