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Standards for ammonia and odour emissions in livestock farming

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Livestock farms in the Netherlands are only allowed to emit a limited amount of ammonia. By building livestock housing away from the immediate vicinity of trees or plants, you can prevent direct damage as a result of ammonia emissions.

Ammonia emission standards for livestock housing

Each livestock housing system has its own standard for ammonia and fine particles emissions. The Low-Emission Livestock Housing Decree (Besluit emissiearme huisvesting) determines the level of emissions permitted per animal species. Livestock housing for dairy cattle, calves, pigs, chickens, turkeys and ducks may not exceed these maximum emission standards. This applies to new animal housing systems and large extensions (of more than 50%) to existing livestock housing.

In addition, there are also standards for the total ammonia emissions permitted per farm. These are specified in your All-in-one Permit for Physical Aspects or in the general rules of the Activities DecreeExternal link (Activiteitenbesluit). If you have a permit under the Nature Conservancy Act (vergunning natuurbeschermingswet), these standards may be specified in this permit as well.

If the livestock housing system you use is not included in the list, please notify the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (Infrastructuur en Waterstaat) via the Netherlands Enterprise AgencyExternal link. You can also apply for a lower emission factor if your livestock housing system reduces ammonia emissions.

Scheme for discontinuation

Low-emission standards are compulsory for livestock housing at medium-sized livestock farms. If you want to discontinue your farming business, due to the stringent emission standards and requirements for livestock housing, you can use the Cessation Scheme (Stoppersregeling). Please contact the InfoMil Knowledge CentreExternal link for more information.

Rules on odour emission

Your livestock farm must also meet the rules on odour emissions. Which rules apply depends on the following:

  • the location of your business.
  • the types and amounts of livestock you own.
  • the type of livestock housing.
  • the presence of a manure basin.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO