The pretext is the government’s plan for the elimination of about 90 to 100,000 cows, through the reduction or, alternatively, the sale of the living animal. The goal of The Hague is to reduce by 2017 the cattle population of approximately 18,000 farms in the country. For three consecutive years, the Dutch have surpassed the limits imposed by the European Community for phosphate emissions, present in cattle manure. The Ministry of Agriculture offers farmers a refund of EUR 300 per animal slaughtered. According to a report in the Dutch press, the success has been such as to shorten the time required for the complete implementation of the plan. In the first tranche, when it was planned to cut about 15,000 heads, the slaughter counted more than 30,000, with approximately 40,000 authorization requests. According to the Dutch press, the success of the initiative is due to the local industry. While only 150 farms have more than 300 head, most of the companies are small and family-run.