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Dutch farmers block roads in protest against environmental reforms

Farmers blocked several highways in the Netherlands on Monday in protest against planned changes to environmental law.

Farmers blocked several highways in the Netherlands on Monday in protest against planned changes to environmental law.

Dozens of tractors blocked highway lanes and caused kilometre-long traffic jams, according to traffic authorities. Farmers have also threatened to block the routes near Groningen along the German border.

The protests were directed against government plans to limit nitrogen emissions, after a high court decreed that emissions must be heavily reduced.

The plans would see a reduction of nitrogen emissions of around 70% near nature preserves, but government reports suggest that this could spell the end of around 30% of Dutch livestock farms.

Agricultural campaigners warned the government against escalating the protests. The Agractie farmers’ group called on Environmental Minister Christianne van der Wal to drop the proposals.

“The farmers will fight for their future,” Agractie leader said in a video on Monday.

The Netherlands is one of the world’S largest exporters of agricultural products. In 2021 the country exported products worth around €105 million ($111 million).

The country has not abided by European emissions norms for decades. Agriculture is the main source of nitrogen emissions.

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