24 March 2000

Incinerator rule could backfire

FARM minister Nick Brown has been warned that a new EU directive restricting the output from incinerators across all sectors of industry could destroy many rural businesses.

The Waste Incineration directive, which received its second reading in the European Parliament on Mar 15, aims to reduce pollution. But the Countryside Alliance believes it will have the opposite effect.

It has written to Mr Brown telling him incinerators have been installed at significant cost by many farmers, small abattoirs, renderers and hunt kennels in recent years to comply with BSE regulations and other legislation.

The cost of making these businesses compliant with the regulations has been estimated by the government at between £200-300,000.

This is far beyond the reach of farmers and small rural businesses, Mr Brown was told.

Increased pollution

Alliance chief executive Richard Burge said the net effective of the directive could be to increase pollution.

"If the cost of disposing of dead livestock and other farm waste increases any further, many farmers may be forced to bury or otherwise dispose of this waste, with serious environmental consequences," he said.

The measure will have to be approved by the EU Council of ministers before it comes into force. The alliance is encouraging people who would be affected to contact Mr Brown expressing their concerns. &#42