Supermarket eggs (c) Rex

An egg production company has been hit with fines totalling almost £75,000 for breaching the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control regulations.

LJ Fairburn admitted operating without the correct environmental permits at plants in Lincolnshire when representatives appeared before magistrates in Skegness in early September.

The court was told that an investigation by the Environment Agency found that the company did not have the correct permits for five sites it runs across Lincolnshire.

Prosecutor Anne-Lise McDonald emphasised that any unit with more than 40,000-bird places needs to have an environmental permit. Areas that are examined before the permit is given include ammonia and methane emissions, slurries, wash waters, fuels and chemicals which have pollution potential.

Evidence was given to the court that all the sites had more than 40,000 birds and that one had 186,000 birds.

In mitigation, the company said that, as soon as the omission was pointed out, the permits were obtained.

The company was fined £65,000 with £9,500 costs.

Following the hearing, a spokeswoman for the Environment Agency commented: “We regulate intensive agricultural operations in order to protect human health and the environment. Operating without permits means that these risks were not assessed or regulated.”