Flies, smell from chicken farms plague unhappy village

Flies, smell from chicken farms plague unhappy village

Armed with a flyswat, Seksan Tansakulchai has tried to live with the flies, but says it's just too much to bear and is demanding the big agribusiness firms improve sanitation at their chicken farms. The fly trap at left under the table is smothered in flies. (Photo by Chakraphan Nathanri)
Armed with a flyswat, Seksan Tansakulchai has tried to live with the flies, but says it's just too much to bear and is demanding the big agribusiness firms improve sanitation at their chicken farms. The fly trap at left under the table is smothered in flies. (Photo by Chakraphan Nathanri)

KHON KAEN - Residents of a village in Phra Yuen district say their homes and lives have become plagued by disease carrying flies and foul smells since a giant agri-business came to town and set up dozens of chicken farms.

Virat Wisithichart, 71, of Pa Mo village in Phra Yuen district, said the problem began about 10 years ago when a agri-conglomerate came to the area to promote their business and set up new chicken farms.

The farms started with small open structures to keep chickens for eggs. It did not stop there. Now, there were more than 70 farms, each with 5,000 - 10,000 chickens.

Six of the farms were less than 300 metres from his house, Mr Virat  said.

Mr Virat said the flies from these farms cause a lot of problems - especially stress and unhealthy living conditions.

"The flies are now everywhere in our homes.  They swarm over plates of food when we eat.  Some of them even drop into the bowls of curry and soup. Because of the flies, nobody wants to visit us at our house," he said.

He said the foul smell from the farms was unbearable.

The unhappy residents had lodged complaints with the mayor of the Phra Yuen Municipality. The mayor called a meeting of representatives of the conglomerate, chicken raisers and affected residents. About two months ago, all sides signed a memorandum of understanding to improve the situation.

And that was all that happened. So far, no improvements have been made, he said.

Another resident, Seksan Tansakulchai, also said he and his family have to tolerate living with flies all around them - on the floor and the dining table, in their bedrooms. He carries a flyswat with him all the time while in the house.

Phra Yuen mayor Chairoj Wanphet said the big companies behind the chicken farms had failed to honour the agreement.

He said the municipality will not extend their operating permits when they next submit a tax payment form.

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