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Chicken Farm Fights Foul Smell Claims

by 5m Editor
16 November 2010, at 11:13am

THAILAND - A chicken farm operator in Sanam Chai Khet district is suing 27 villagers for 2.3 million baht in damages after they complained the strong smell from the farm was disturbing their communities.

According to Bangkok Post, Boon Paed Co claimed in its lawsuit that it had dealt with the problem by improving its environmental standards and the villagers' complaints had damaged its reputation.

The company told the Chachoengsao Court yesterday the villagers had slandered it when they lodged a complaint with Lat Krating tambon administration organisation (TAO) accusing its chicken farm of emitting foul smells.

Rayong Administrative Court ordered the TAO late last year to deal with the villagers' complaint within 30 days. The TAO was also ordered to establish within 20 days whether the farm was raising more chickens than it was allowed.

The Rayong Administrative Court's orders were issued at the height of the conflict between the farm and the local villagers which began in 2006 when residents of four villages filed a complaint with Lat Krating TAO and the Department of Health accusing the company of being the source of the strong smell.

Namaoy Mansrijan, one of the villagers being sued, claimed yesterday that health officials who inspected the farm had found it was the source of dust and pollution harmful to nearby communities.

The officials asked the Lat Krating TAO to order the company to solve the problem, she said.

Instead, according to Ms Namaoy, the company increased the number of chickens to 450,000 even though it was allowed by the TAO to raise only 100,000 chickens.

The Lat Krating TAO decided on 3 December 2008, not to renew the chicken farming permit for the company because of the violation, but it allegedly went on with its business.

Chachoengsao Court, which held its first hearing on the company's lawsuit yesterday, ordered the villagers to talk with the company on 24 December to try to settle the dispute.

A lawyer from the Foundation for Consumers is helping the villagers.