Sheep dip offences leave farmer with £2500 bill

An Anglesey farmer, who runs a mobile sheep dipping business, must pay over £2500 in fines and costs after admitting causing pollution to enter a stream which flows into Holyhead Bay, near his farm.

Vivien Thomas of Pengraig Farm, Llanfairynghornwy was fined £300 and was ordered to pay £250 in legal costs to Environment Agency Wales, who brought the case at Holyhead Magistrates’ Court on 17 May 2007.

He will also be getting a £2000 bill from the agency to cover the cost of the investigation. 

Mr Thomas had pleaded guilty to a charge under Section 85 (1) of the Water Resources Act 1991 – causing diazinon-based sheep dip to enter a watercourse discharging into Holyhead Bay at Hen Borth, Anglesey. 

Diazinon is a common component of organphosphate or OP sheep dips. Agency investigations also found high levels of diazinon within the soil in a field next to the farmyard.
Many farmers in North Wales rely on the mobile sheep dipping service to treat their animals for parasites, and after dipping to safely and legally dispose of the waste dip solution back at Pengraig Farm.

Mr Thomas has a ‘Groundwater Authorisation’ to legally dispose of waste sheep dip on fields, agreed with the Agency. But he had not kept within the conditions of his authorisation.

Speaking after the case Dylan Williams, Environment Agency team leader, said:

“We hope the result of this case sends out a clear message to farmers and contractors to take great care to prevent the escape of any amount of sheep dip chemical. 

“When using them, extremely high standards of management must be followed to prevent pollution of the aquatic environment.

“Contractors taking used dip away from client’s farms must take special care to avoid any spillages and ensure their authorisation properly covers their activities.”

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