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WATCH: Protesters march through Stafford town centre to oppose turkey farm plans

By Charlotte Callear | Stafford | News | Published:

Dozens marched through Stafford town centre to protest against plans for a controversial turkey farm with space for 20,000 birds.

A demonstration in the snow through Market Square, Stafford

The snow did not stop the protesters who chanted "say no to Toft, no turkey farm" and "there is no excuse for animals abuse" as they made their way around the busiest parts of town.

For the demonstration, they made their way from Victoria Park through the high street and Market Square today.

Watch footage from the protest below

Protestors march through Stafford against a proposed turkey farm

If South Staffordshire District Council give the plans, submitted by Holt Farms, the green light, it would see four turkey rearing buildings at Toft Farm in Levedale Road, Penkridge.

But the plans have been met with strong opposition because people are concerned that the lorries would cause traffic on the small lanes and have expressed concerns regarding animal cruelty, health and safety.

Organiser Charlie Ward, 34, of Coppenhall, Penkridge, lives up the road from where the buildings will be.

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She said: "Considering it is snowing, there has been a turn around of people. The people who are here are determined and care about animals rights but aside from that these plans are awful.

"There will be huge lorries going down single lanes which will impact traffic, be terrible for local wildlife and it will stink.

"Over 4,000 signatures are on our online petition and it shows people are against the living conditions the animals will be subjected to."

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Heleen Roebuck, 50, Alstom, Stafford was one of around 35 people who were protesting.

She said: "I think it is absolutely unacceptable to keep animals against their will in barns just for the sake of one day of Christmas celebrations.

"I think the turnout is absolutely wonderful that people have come out today in the snow when they probably have lots of better things to do. I think it is brilliant that people have made the effort."

An online petition was set up to oppose the plan, which would be 1.5miles away from St Leonard's First School, which has reached 4,000 signatures.

A national animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), also joined the battle by setting up their own petition which earned 7,000 signatures.

Speaking to the Express and Star last month, Councillor Isabel Ford. who represents the Penkridge North East and Acton Trussell ward, acknowledged the concerns of residents.

No one from Holt Farms of Acton Hill was available to comment and the plans are awaiting a decision from the council.

Charlotte Callear

By Charlotte Callear
@CCallear_Star

Reporter based at the Express & Star's Wolverhampton head office

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