Dutch farmers have been demonstrating against their government's climate policy for weeks. In the municipality of Heerenveen, there are again clashes between farmers and the police. The officials fired shots - and later spoke of a "threatening situation".
During a demonstration by farmers in the Netherlands, the police fired warning shots and aimed shots. Late on Tuesday evening, tractor drivers drove towards police officers and police cars in Heerenveen in the north of the country, and the police said a "threatening situation" had arisen. The officers therefore fired shots. A tractor was hit. This is now being determined.
According to the police, three people were also arrested during the protest in Heerenveen. Farmers in the Netherlands have been protesting regularly since June 10th. They are protesting, sometimes violently, against the government's plans to massively reduce nitrogen oxide emissions - for the farmers this means drastically reducing the number of animals in the stables.
The Netherlands - about the size of Lower Saxony - is the second largest agricultural exporter in the world after the USA and one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters in Europe. The main reason is livestock farming. In the country with 17.5 million inhabitants there are 12 million pigs, 4 million cattle and 100 million chickens in stables and on the pastures.
In order to meet its climate targets by 2030, the government wants to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 70 percent in 131 regions. For farmers in the country, this means reducing livestock by at least 30 percent.
According to the Federal Environment Agency, the manure that the animals produce is a source of the climate-damaging nitrous oxide and its precursor substances, nitrogen oxides and nitrogen. Nitrous oxide is also produced when fertilizer is spread on fields. In addition, methane emissions result from livestock farming, namely during the digestion processes of cattle and sheep and the storage of manure and liquid manure.