Article published by the Institute of Welsh Affairs on 4 April 2023
A public demonstration against intensive poultry units (IPUs) outside the Senedd on 15 February was just the latest eruption of public concern over the pollution of the Wye, Severn and their tributaries, which is blamed on the explosion of intensive poultry farming in Powys over recent years.
This demonstration was organised by grassroots community group Sustainable Food Knighton who successfully brought a case against Powys County Council in 2020 after they gave permission for a new poultry unit without proper consideration of the environmental impact. The event brought together a range of concerns.
River pollution was the primary focus of campaigner Angela Jones with her ‘Death of the Wye’ coffin. Nutrients from livestock manure and fertiliser running into rivers cause algal blooms followed by a serious loss of biodiversity, and it’s not just IPUs. Dairy farming, horticulture and sewage are also implicated.
For the rest of this article, which discusses the role of the Welsh government and the Future Generations Office and calls for stronger citizen involvement in the food system, see the IWA website.
Image: Sustainable Food Knighton