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31 Jul 2017

China: Herders in Inner Mongolia protest against COFCO Joycome pig farms that allegedly discharge untreated sewage into grazing land, two protestors arrested

[Translation provided by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre]

Pig farms owned by COFCO Joycome (China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation) in Chifeng City, Inner Mongolia discharged untreated sewage straightly into the land... The company was subject to administrative penalties by the local environmental department and 60,000 RMB fines were imposed to its first and second phase of the project respectively...Protests by hundreds of local farmers and herdsmen to express their resentment against the polluted environment were repressed by police, a total of 18 people were placed in administrative detention or criminal detention. Five of the seven villagers who were “suspected of disrupting public service” and placed in criminal detention were released and two were formally arrested.

In a statement responding to the pollution issue, the company says, "...The company attached great importance to the report concerning the pollution caused by COFCO Chifeng, and carried out self-examination instantly. It was confirmed there is misconduct during the implementation of environmental protection measures. Chifeng company has corrected the problem and improved the system...The COFCO Meat strictly complies with national laws and regulations on waste disposal in livestock and poultry farming. Ever since the operation of the Chifeng project, the company invested 500 million RMB in improving facilities to protect the environment, which has effectively mitigated the stench of the farm. In the next step, the company will invest another 500 million RMB to further promote environment protections..."