With the court ruling, debate erupts again over whether grazing is possible without permission from the Nature Conservation Act. MOB’s nitrogen fighter Johann Wollenbrück has appealed, with the organization Environmental Environment, against the exemption applied by Overijssel, and they were right. The then Agriculture Minister, Schuten, confirmed last year that there could be no question regarding the requirement to obtain a permit.
Nitrogen emissions from livestock farming mainly consist of ammonia. It is formed primarily in the stable when feces and urine combine. This is rarely the case on pastures, so scientists consider grazing to be less dangerous than nitrogen. Legally speaking, however, this assumption is insufficient, according to the judge.
The court also canceled about two dozen natural permits farmers had obtained to build new, low-emission stables. The growers are actually ensuring low nitrogen emissions with these modern barns. But in this case, too, the court first asks for better evidence than the province.
The new ruling looks like a blow to ranchers. “This means that nothing is actually possible,” sighs dairy farmer Gertjan Klosterbauer, who is affiliated with the TeamAgroNL agricultural promotion club. “The cows can no longer go out, the fields can no longer be fertilized with compost. Sad.” Overijssel County says it is considering the ruling.
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