21 farmers sanctioned for illegally spreading manure in 2021 lockdown period

As it turns out, 21 farmers were caught spreading manure illegally during the 2021 lockdown period.

New data from the Ministry of Agriculture shows the figure is almost double the number of violations recorded in 2020, when 12 violations occurred; There were 11 violations in 2019.

Farm payment sanctions – ranging from 5 per cent to 20 per cent – were imposed on the 21 breaches found in 2021, with prosecution reportedly a matter for local authorities.

The ministry last year warned of “one rogue in every community” who is “obviously” acting outside manure spreading regulations, adding that such operators “must be called out and heavily fined”.

But Denis Drennan, ICMSA deputy president, said he “cannot accept” that 21 violations out of 140,000 farmers constitute “a statistically significant problem”.

He said farmers are “incredibly aware” of the need to maintain and conserve river quality and that the value of manure now means that farmers “store and use it with care”.

He added that “a concerted team effort” is still needed, but noted that more could be done by the government on the issue of expedient storage.

“ICMSA has for years pointed out aspects of TAMS that could and should have been used for modern manure storage,” he said. “We need to go back and look at that – and specifically the need for a 60 per cent grant.

“The other aspect that people might usefully consider is the broader issue of the planning process – ‘ICMSA is monitoring several instances where farmers wanting to set up modern manure storage facilities are still awaiting approval to proceed.’

“We know that this kind of lengthy and expensive building permit holdup isn’t unique to agriculture, but it’s something we might consider if we ever get around to reviewing our obviously dysfunctional planning process.”

The IFA has decided not to comment on the new data on liquid manure breaches.

https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/news/21-farmers-sanctioned-for-illegally-spreading-slurry-in-2021-closed-period-41963676.html 21 farmers sanctioned for illegally spreading manure in 2021 lockdown period

Fry Electronics Team

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