‘Visitors don’t want to smell that!’ – Contemporary entanglements of rural leisure, tourism and intensive livestock farming
14/01/2021 at 12:15 - 13:15Free
Alison Caffyn is a research student at Cardiff University. Her work involves researching contestations around intensive livestock farming developments for an ESRC funded PhD. She can be followed on Twitter @AlsionCaffyn.
Society’s increasing demand for cheap chicken has led to concentrations of intensive poultry units in certain parts of the UK. 96% of home-grown supplies are raised in conventional intensive poultry units (IPUs): over a billion chickens a year. Alison’s research has followed the escalating contestations around proliferating livestock units and their impacts on local communities and environments in Herefordshire and Shropshire. The farming sector frames the developments as modern, efficient farming; producing affordable, traceable, healthy protein; and frames objectors as NIMBY incomers to the countryside. Objectors have been arguing about the multiple potential impacts of IPUs including smells, water and air pollution, biodiversity loss, the visual impacts of chicken sheds and the heavy goods traffic they generate.
An argument that is increasingly deployed is that intensive livestock farming will damage the local tourism economy. Rural tourism and leisure are financially more significant than the farming sector across most UK rural areas. Planners have usually dismissed claims about tourism impacts from IPUs due to lack of evidence. Alison’s research is the first in the UK to begin to untangle the multiple factors in play and the narratives deployed in the polarised arguments. In this seminar she presents preliminary evidence of how the UK’s demand for cheap meat may be beginning to undermine rural economies and would welcome feedback on how this research could be taken forward.
The webinar will take place on the ‘Zoom’ platform which will require registration. This is free and we recommend that you do so in advance to avoid disappointment.