Poultry producers will be unable to cope with new pollution controls unless the cost of implementing the regulations is reduced, claim industry leaders.

Industry representatives have joined forces to call for a three year moratorium on regulatory fees for new Integrated Pollution, Prevention and Control regulations.

The NFU, British Poultry Council and the British Egg Industry Council said costs must be reduced if producers were to cope with the new regulations.

Reducing the burden on the government – which normally recoups its inspection costs from farmers – was vital, they added.

Instead, poultry producers believe the industry should be allowed to regulate itself and carry out independent inspections for the new environmental regulations.

“Farmers have already significantly invested on farms to meet the environmental demands within the IPPC,” said a joint statement issued on behalf of the three bodies.

The industry was not against the environmental regulation but farmers could not continue to absorb regulatory fees when they were operating at a loss.

The NFU said poultry producers were still struggling to come to with the cost of avian influenza – estimated to have cost £58m since last autumn.

Meanwhile, the Environment Agency is holding a series of workshops to help pig and poultry producers prepare for the regulations.

Without the new permit, producers with more than 40,000 birds, 750 sows or 2,000 finishing pigs over 30kg will be unable to operate.

The IPPC permit system which will come into force later this year will open for applications on 1 November until 31 January 2007.

But industry leaders believe significant work is needed prior to the application to ensure that permit applications are correctly submitted.

The workshops are being held on Monday 7 August at Peterborough and Nottingham.

Environment Agency staff will brief producers on what the permit process entails and how they can prepare to submit an application.

For workshop details, call Laura Harrison at NFU East Midlands on 01572 824264.