In Northern Ireland, where, as across the UK, energy companies are hoping to begin fracking imminently, more than 50 farmers recently highlighted their opposition to the plans by ‘slow driving’ a convey of tractors in protest during the G8 summit. The Ulster Farmers Union (UFU) itself has yet to officially oppose the technology, although it confirmed it was ‘very concerned’ and would like to see a public inquiry: ‘there’s so much stuff [about fracking] going backwards and forwards, we need some judicial oversight.’
The Northern Ireland Assembly ultimately instituted a moratorium on fracking in 2011.
In Poland, farmers in Zurawlow, in the east of the country, have been blockading land earmarked for exploratory drilling since June this year – tractors have been parked at the entrances to a wheat field where gas executives want to begin test drilling. The blockade lasted for 400 days, until Chevron backed down.
In Canada, the National Farmers Union (NFU), which represents thousands of family farms, has called for a moratorium on fracking which members believe is a ‘danger to water, food and farmland’. Jan Slomp, a dairy farmer and coordinator for the organisation in Alberta, recently said: ‘We are in the heart of Alberta’s oil and gas country where our ability to produce good, wholesome food is at risk of being compromised by the widespread, virtually unregulated use of this dangerous process.’ Farmers say there are documented cases of wells being contaminated by toxic chemicals linked to nearby fracking.
The two videos below are from farmers impacted by fracking. They sum it up better than we ever could.