dead fish© Rex Features

A Northern Ireland poultry company has been fined £2,000 at Enniskillen magistrates’ court for making a polluting discharge to a waterway.

Western Brand Poultry Products from Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh, pleaded guilty to the offence and had to pay a further £3,950 fish restocking costs, plus £28 court costs and a £15 offenders levy.

The court heard that on 10 July 2013 the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) investigated a fish kill in the Moorlough River near Lisnaskea.

The source was traced upstream to the premises of Western Brand Poultry Products, where it was found that there had been a leak of ammonia from a refrigeration plant.

Subsequently it was found that three kilometres of river had been affected, with 2,760 dead adult fish plus several thousand more dead juvenile fish.

Western Brand Poultry Products is part of the Western Brand Group, which has primary production in Co Mayo, Republic of Ireland. It has its own breeding farms, hatchery and contract growers, and processes some 450,000 chickens per week at its Ballyhaunis site.

The Lisnaskea site in Northern Ireland specialises in a wide range of cooked and breaded chicken products.