Protests in the Netherlands: Farmers dump manure tanks in front of the Environment Minister's house

Farmers in the Netherlands have been protesting against planned environmental regulations for days - and are resorting to drastic measures.

Protests in the Netherlands: Farmers dump manure tanks in front of the Environment Minister's house

Farmers in the Netherlands have been protesting against planned environmental regulations for days - and are resorting to drastic measures. In front of the house of Environment Minister van der Wal, they vent their anger and empty a liquid manure tank. The police describe the situation as "threatening and unacceptable".

Protesting farmers in the Netherlands used a tractor to break through a police barricade in front of the home of Environment Minister Christianne van der Wal late on Tuesday evening. A police car was damaged and a liquid manure tank was emptied, the police said on Wednesday night on Twitter.

The situation in Hierden east of Amsterdam is said to be threatening and unacceptable. "Borders have been crossed". Later the situation was manageable again. The minister was not at home at the time, as reported by the ANP agency, citing a spokesman.

The farmers are protesting against planned government measures. According to a ruling by the highest court, nitrogen emissions must be greatly reduced. In natural areas, pollutant emissions are to be reduced by around 70 percent. According to government information, this can mean the end of around 30 percent of livestock farms.

Angry farmers had already gathered in front of the minister's house on Monday evening. On Tuesday, farmers with dozens of tractors marched to the parliament in The Hague, where the announced reduction in nitrogen emissions was to be discussed. Farmers also demonstrated with two cows in front of the parliament building. As on the previous day, road blockades again caused long traffic jams in some parts of the country.

Farmers also set large amounts of hay on fire along highways. Drivers' visibility was severely obstructed by the clouds of smoke. Prime Minister Mark Rutte condemned the protests. "It is not acceptable in this country to create dangerous situations, to block roads or to intimidate politicians," said Rutte in The Hague. The right to demonstrate is a valuable asset, he said. But the law must not be broken. "This is all going too far."

The Netherlands is one of the world's largest exporters of agricultural products. In 2021, products worth around 105 billion euros were exported. For decades, the country had not complied with European pollutant standards. Agriculture is the largest contributor to nitrogen.

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