Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Are Pig Farmers Conscious of Environmental Protection?

An online commentator complained that China's pig farmers are dangerously irresponsible when it comes to pollution issues.

The commentator visited a relative in the countryside who started raising pigs a couple years ago. With prices at record-high levels last year, the relative was pleased that he had earned a lot of money. During his visit, the commentator noticed there were many pig farms, and quite a few dumped manure into the small river that runs through the village.

Knowing that China has been enforcing regulations to protect the environment by banning or limiting pigs in designated districts, the commentator asked his relative if he was under pressure.

"What pressure?" the puzzled pig farmer replied.

The city relative clarified: "Pressure from environmental protection?"

The pig-farmer scoffed at the question. "Environmental protection has nothing to do with me. None of the villages around here are in districts that ban pig-farming," he said.

Alarmed by the numerous pig farms and the foul odor coming from his home village's river, the commentator warned that his relative and many pig farmers like him have a fundamental misunderstanding of China's environmental protection policy.

Chinese officials have designated three types of areas: districts where pig-farming is forbidden (禁养区); districts where pig-farming is limited (限养区); and districts suitable for pig-farming (适养区). The commentator said that a "suitable" district cannot ignore restrictions on manure disposal; nor can farms in those districts raise unlimited numbers of pigs. He also claimed that pig-farming can continue in districts where it is forbidden (no wonder farmers are confused), but environmental standards are higher than before.

The commentator claimed that pig farmers are basically unaware of environmental issues and rebuked them for having an attitude that, "There's no one watching me, so what's wrong with me making money from raising pigs?" He called this a dangerous and irresponsible practice that he hopes pig farmers will change.

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