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    NFU Scotland Seeks Views On Diffuse Water Pollution


NFU Scotland plans to tell the Scottish Executive that new rules to avoid diffuse water pollution are unnecessary and that the agriculture industry is already bound by sufficient rules that act against diffuse pollution.

Opinions from NFUS members are sought by 27 February 2006 before formal response is made to the Executive's consultation.

Diffuse pollution arises when multiple small amounts of potentially polluting materials reach water bodies and, collectively, are sufficient to cause problems. The EU Water Framework Directive obliges member states to tackle diffuse pollution problems. The Scottish Executive's consultation paper proposes that this be done through a 'strategy' for dissemination of best practice, through direct controls and through incentives to good practice, paid under Land Management Contracts.

NFUS has the view that the industry is already bound by rules that act against diffuse pollution, primarily the cross compliance rules upon which receipt of the Single Farm Payment depends.

Scott Walker, NFU Scotland Policy Director, said:

“The agriculture industry in Scotland is already subject to rules that act against diffuse pollution. Receipt of the Single Farm Payment is conditional on adherence to these and to maintaining land in Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition (GAEC).

“Several of these GAEC rules are relevant to avoiding diffuse pollution. In addition, the industry already has the Prevention of Environmental Pollution From Agricultural Activities (PEPFAA) Code, which lays out best practice.

“There is therefore no need for additional bureaucracy or duplication for farmers who are already adequately fulfilling requirements to tackle diffuse water pollution.”

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