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Stackyard News Dec 07

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    Defra’s Nitrate Proposals: All Pain With No Gain

The Tenant Farmers Association has slammed proposals aimed at reducing the amount of nitrate in drinking and ground waters, outlined in a DEFRA consultation document, as an over-reaction based on unsound science and a central concern to win a “get out of jail free card” from the European Commission.

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TFA Chief Executive, George Dunn said “DEFRA’s main concern is that the EU is taking action to fine the British Government for non-implementation of the 1991 Nitrates Directive in England and DEFRA wants to avoid that at all costs – never mind the widely held view both within and outside DEFRA that the 1991 Directive is seriously flawed. We believe that DEFRA should be leading the charge to get the Directive changed rather than caving in to the Brussels bureaucrats. Although we have been working with the NFU and CLA over the past 2 to 3 years to convince DEFRA of the error of its ways, we have seen little willingness to tackle this central issue. At the end of the day it will be British farmers who will be picking up the bill for very little benefit as DEFRA admit themselves”.

The TFA is particularly concerned about the costs associated with a new requirement for dairy and pig farmers to have 22 and 26 weeks slurry storage capacity respectively on their farms which we see as unnecessary.

“Although on most farm tenancies it would be the landlord’s responsibility to install the necessary fixed equipment if it was required by law, it is not our wish to see landlords having to pay something like £50,000 per farm on what will turn out to be unnecessary white elephants,” said Mr Dunn.

“The Government has a stated clear objective to promote a profitable and competitive agriculture but the measures being proposed within this consultation will do great damage to the industry. The TFA believes that DEFRA should be taking greater notice of the impacts of the changes being proposed on the farming industry, not least livestock producers, and in particular those within the tenanted sector. The consequences will be far reaching and must not be underestimated in deciding the final shape of any new regulations,” said Mr Dunn.

link Brussels' Demands on NVZs Defy Logic
link Rome UN Agencies Urge Immediate Climate Action to Avert Hunger
link Southern England Set to Experience Double Average Temperature Increase

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Tenant Farmers Association