Saturday, June 27, 2020
Politicians allow algal blooms
Algal blooms in rivers and waterways are generally a result of political indifference and poor land management. Claimsin Britain that the ‘ecological disaster’ of algal blooms facing ‘the Wye River is said to be a by-product of intensive production of free-range eggs. Ecologists say that recent expansion of chicken farming in rural Powys, with the headwaters of the Wye and its tributaries is responsible for high levels of phosphates entering the river and fuelling the blooms. Genuine freerange egg production is small-scale, with limited flock sizes and low stocking densities but the reality is that both here and the UK virtually all eggs labelled free-range come from vast Intensive Poultry Units. These huge egg factories, which often house 50,000 to 100,000 birds, dump enormous volumes of manure on the farm land , the high nutrient load inevitably runs off into river systems and leaches into groundwater. Politicians here allow an outdoor stocking density of 10,000 hens per hectare which is close to 10 times the sustainable limit.