If the project goes ahead, 126,000 pigs will be transported each year to the ships of the porcine macrogranja to be installed in the municipality of Dehesas de Guadix, in the north of Granada. Upon arrival, the pigs will weigh 20 kilos and, almost five months later, they should leave there on their way to slaughterhouse with a lustrous 100 kilos. The project is still in the initial phase of obtaining the appropriate permits but has already met with the first opponents: the ten mayors and mayors of the nearby municipalities and a citizen platform that has already obtained 2,000 signatures against the installation. There is only one mayor in doubt, that of Dehesas de Guadix, a municipality to which the land that will house the farm belongs and on which the final approval of the project depends.
The paradox of the situation is that the permit depends on Dehesas, which, due to the configuration of the municipal area, is the inhabited urban nucleus furthest away from the pigs, nine kilometers away explains its mayor, and, therefore, the least affected by the foreseeable environmental consequences of the installation.
The company Vagido Alto S.L.U. has asked the municipality for the declaration of public utility and social interest for a project that involves the creation of 28 ships, distributed in seven locations on a large rustic farm, capable of holding 50,400 pigs at a time. The speed with which the goats go from 20 to 100 kilos, their ideal weight, will allow 2.5 fattening cycles per year. In short, the facilities will house 126,000 animals every twelve months. The distance of the ships to the different surrounding villages varies but, according to the promoter company recognizes, one of the seven fattening units, with capacity for 7,200 pigs, will be just over two kilometers from another town, Cuevas del Campo, without vote in the granting of permits.
It has been Ecologists in Action who has initiated the campaign against this macro installation that, from the urbanistic point of view, consists of 28 ships of 114 meters long by 14 wide and more than a hundred silos for feeding the animals and an investment that slightly exceeds 1.1 million euros. At the end of last year, Ecologists called the citizens of Cuevas to tell them about the project. José Antonio Cabrera, his local spokesman, lists the two main problems: "The first, brutal animal abuse. In small, low-intensity facilities, a fertile mother has a life of 14 or 15 years, which in this type of intensive facilities will be reduced to 5. The second problem is environmental, with a huge consumption of water, which will come from the Guadiana Menor River and some slurry discharges that, through the decantation system, will eventually be filtered to the ground and, finally, to the river. And slurry, mainly composed of ammonia and nitrates, also includes antibiotics and drugs that they give to animals. " The list of objections is completed "the flies and smells that this type of facilities generates, which makes it untenable to live nearby". This newspaper has contacted Ramón Sabater Sánchez, owner of the promoter company, and although he answered the call, he declined to give his version.
Eva Pérez is a citizen of Cuevas del Campo and spokesperson for the Platform for the Protection of the Ribera del Guadiana Menor, which leads the opposition to macrogranja. Pérez recalls that "this is a supra-municipal issue and, therefore, not only the municipality to which the land belongs must have an opinion. We affect many more and we want to be heard. "
To the objections of Ecologists, Perez adds another: "It is that, in addition, employment is hardly created. According to the project, in the best of cases only 11 jobs will be generated with an annual salary of 18,000 euros. Also, a very low salary. " The business project effectively allocates 1.5 jobs to each of the seven productive units.
The company's forecast for water consumption is 237.5 million liters per year, something like an Olympic pool every four or five days. On this aspect, Perez insists on being realistic: "We are in a semi-desert zone where water does not abound".
The macrogranja project has had a consensus effect against the project in the dozen mayors of the surrounding villages. Carmen Martínez is the socialist mayor of Cuevas del Campo, the most affected for the proximity of the farm. "All the mayors are against this project. We fear odors, the plagues of flies and rodents and the end of rural tourism. Besides not generating employment, environmentally it is a disaster for our tourism, agriculture and livestock, "he explains.
For its part, the popular Antonio Moraleda, mayor of Dehesas de Guadix, nine kilometers from the nearest pig shed, does not say in any way: "We have given the appropriate channel to the documentation and when it gets, or not, the Environmental permits will then be decided by the city council. Right now I do not have a definitive position. But we must bear in mind that there are many citizens who believe that it is beneficial for the people. " In any case, the project is still in an initial phase and all of the sources consulted estimate that more than two years are missing to know if the project will be a reality or not.
Seven months is what it takes for a pig to reach 100 kilos on intensive farms. The one that is tried to construct in the municipal Dehesas de Guadix term would be the penultimate stage of a trip that implies several trips for thousands of pigs that would be born to little more than 100 kilometers, in the Puebla de Don Fadrique (Granada). There is already approved a farm where 549,000 piglets will be born each year. There will be 28 days, until they reach 6 or 7 kilos of weight. After weaning, the goats will travel to another facility in the town of María (Almería), just over half an hour. There, in another 40 or 45 days the piglets must become pigs of 20 kilos. And from there, if approved, they would go to Dehesas de Guadix, to reach 100 kilos. The last station, the one imagined: the slaughterhouse.