Poultry farmers have secured a partial victory over the high charges for the Integrated Pollution Prevention & Control (IPPC) inspections with the government announcing on Tuesday that it was looking into a more cost effective solution.

Speaking at the British Poultry Council’s annual awards at the Houses of Parliament, Junior DEFRA minister Lord Rooker stressed that all five DEFRA ministers didn’t want to see over-regulation or double regulation.

“Farmers have everyone crawling over the farm gate to inspect their farm and many are already meeting the requirements for IPPC.

“The Environment Agency does a good job, but don’t want to over do it with double regulation.”

He added: “We’ve asked Richard McDonald of the NFU to look into the issue, focussing on two aspects.

“First what is the role of farm assurance schemes and how can they be modified to take in the requirements of IPPC.”

Second, Mr McDonald will look at the Environment Agency to see how transparent it is in spending cash.  “Its purpose is not to build empires.

“If we can do it (IPPC inspections) within assurance schemes, we, therefore, don’t need the Environment Agency visits…lifting a burden off farmer’s backs.”

Environment Agency charges for the permits stand at £3331 plus £2229-2794 each year.