Dutch Police Arrest Farmers Protesting EU Emission Laws Strangling Agriculture

Tractors are parked on the Dam Square in Amsterdam on December 13, 2019 during a protest against what farmers consider to be unrealistic nitrogen emissions measures by the provincial government. (Photo by Remko DE WAAL / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUT (Photo by REMKO DE WAAL/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)
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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – Dutch police arrested dozens of farmers Wednesday who were blocking the entrance to a waste treatment plant, the latest in a string of protests by farmers angry at government plans to cut emissions of nitrogen oxide.

Police from the eastern Drenthe province tweeted that they arrested the protesters for ignoring a ban on such protests.

Farmers have been protesting for days, blocking highways and converging in their tractors on the Dutch parliament, as the government moves to push through a measure to limit the amount of protein farmers can put in their cattle feed.

The agriculture ministry says that reducing the protein will cut emissions of nitrogen oxide, while farmers argue that the move will hurt animal welfare.

Dozens of farmers took part in Wednesday’s demonstration at the waste processing plant. The protesters also contend that farmers are being unfairly targeted by government efforts to cut emissions, while other sectors are spared.

In February, thousands of angry farmers drove to The Hague to demonstrate against the government’s plans to reduce emissions. The protests waned during the country’s coronavirus lockdown, but are now gathering pace again.


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