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Dutch farmers protest across the country in response to proposed environmental laws

Videos circulating on social media have shown the massive scale of the protests, with farmers shutting down border crossings into Germany, and others spreading manure on government buildings.

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Hannah Nightingale Washington DC
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Farmers all across the Netherlands have banded together in recent weeks to protest newly proposed emission cuts that would devastate the livestock industry, with farmers shutting down major city centers, distribution centers, airports, and more across the small European country.

On Tuesday evening, police fired upon farmers in their tractors.

Police said that they were responding to a "threatening situation" in which farmers were attempting to drive their tractors into officers and service vehicles at just before 11 pm.

According to Friesland police, officers issued warning shots as well as more targeted shots.

One tractor was shot, with the tractor being stopped shortly after. Three people were arrested, and no injuries were reported.

Due to shots being fired, The Rijksrecherche, the Dutch government's internal investigator, has been requested to conduct an investigation into the matter.

Protests across the Netherlands have been ramping up since late June, when lawmakers voted in favor of a proposal that would slash emissions like nitrogen oxide and ammonia.

According to ABC News, the ruling coalition of the Netherlands wants to cut down on pollution emissions, primarily nitrogen oxide and ammonia, by 50 percent across the country by 2030.

Ministers warn that farmers will have to adapt to new regulations or face shutdowns.

“The honest message ... is that not all farmers can continue their business,” and those who do continue will likely have to farm differently, the government said in a statement this month, according to ABC News.

Farmers have gathered across the country in the tens of thousands in recent weeks to protest these new environmental goals, saying that they’re being unfairly targeted as polluters while other industries like transportation and aviation are contributing to pollution but don’t have as many rules.

According to ABC News, the farmers also say the government is not giving them a clear picture of their futures amidst these proposed reforms.

Videos circulating on social media have shown the massive scale of the protests, with farmers shutting down border crossings into Germany, and others spreading manure on government buildings.

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