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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