AN ANIMAL RIGHTS group has sent a 25,000-signature petition to county planners following an application for a free-range egg-laying unit at a south Pembrokeshire farm.

Langdon Enterprises Ltd, Langdon Farm, near Kilgetty, seeks to build a 32,000-hen free-range egg laying unit on the farm site.

The application,

a report of which may be seen here

, is in addition to the existing 32,000-hen facility at the farm.

Now, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), says it has collected a 25,000-strong petition objecting to the application, which will be presented to county planners.

The controversial animal group PETA has said: “A proposal has been submitted for the expansion of a ‘free-range’ egg farm in Pembrokeshire that would condemn an additional 32,000 gentle birds at a time – on top of the 32,000 already imprisoned there – to a life of misery and inevitable slaughter.

“In response, PETA has sent a petition with nearly 25,000 signatures from local residents and other concerned members of the public urging Pembrokeshire County Council to reject the plan. The applicant claims the expanded facility would be ‘free-range,’ but previous PETA exposés of UK farms have shown that such labels, while making consumers feel better about purchasing eggs, don't prevent chickens from suffering.”

However, PETA has made no direct claims about Langdon Farm.

PETA also states: “…an expansion of this kind would likely have many negative effects on the local area, including the erection of buildings on the site – which would likely compromise the character of the landscape – increased traffic from heavy goods vehicles, and the generation of enormous quantities of manure and environmental pollutants such as ammonia.”

A report for planners by the applicant, Langdon Farms Ltd, states the development would see an increase in traffic of one lorry and one tractor and trailer per week.

"Thousands of compassionate people have spoken, and Pembrokeshire County Council should heed their concerns for animal welfare, the environment, and the health of the community," said PETA Director Elisa Allen. "PETA is calling for this plan to be scrapped, sparing thousands of birds a lifetime of suffering and an agonising death."

A spokesman for Pembrokeshire County Council said: "Pembrokeshire County Council has received an application (ref.18/1094/PA) for the erection of an agricultural building at Langdon Farm for use as an egg production unit, and we can confirm we have received a letter of objection to the proposal with a list of approximately 25,000 names attached to it. "