28 October 1999
‘Polluter’ farmers face big charges

by FW staff

INTENSIVE pig and poultry farms, which must comply with new anti-pollution laws, is a major cause of environmental damage, a new report has claimed.

The report which has been produced by Compassion in World Farming claims that there is overwhelming evidence that factory farming is a major cause of pollution.

Manure mountains and fertilisers are responsible for up to 60% of nitrate pollution, 43% of phosphate pollution and up to 90% of ammonia pollution, it says.

Report author Dr Jacky Turner said: “CIWF Trust hopes that the new environmental law will be a step towards dismantling the factory farming system.

“The UK and the European Union should now take urgent action to reform their agricultural policies for the millennium.

“New policies should discourage overproduction and intensification and encourage extensive, sustainable and animal-friendly farming.”

The release of the report coincides with the introduction of new environmental controls affecting pig and poultry units.

Intensive pig and poultry producers face a massive bill to comply with a new anti-pollution law which comes into effect on 31 October.

Permits for the Integrated Pollution Prevention Control (IPPC) legislation are likely to cost a minimum of £12,000 in the first year and £5,500 in subsequent years.

The permits will be required by all new or substantially-altered large-scale pig and poultry units, submitting planning applications after the deadline.

Producers affected include farmers who have units housing more than 750 sows, 2000 finishers over 30kg or 40,000 birds.

Existing units housing these numbers will require them by 2003 for poultry and 2004 for pigs. Bigger units will be subject to further charges.

Permits issued by the DETR detail practices on units giving rise to emissions, their impact on the environment and recommended control measures.

The complicated charging scheme is likely to be £12,178 for a permit and a subsistence charge of £5,536 a year, according to the Environment Agency.