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Farmers need to take environmental issues seriously, or pay the price

13 January 2011

On 11 January 2011 the Environment Agency reported that a farming business had been fined after a slurry leak killed hundreds of fish.

The Environment Agency found that slurry had escaped from a pig shed after a door was left open, leading to the death of 220 brown trout and was treated as a category 1 incident.

The case confirms that despite the fact that this was an accident and the first time the company had been charged with environmental offences in 35 years of trading, the Environment Agency is willing to prosecute. This sends a clear message to farming communities that environmental protection should be taken seriously and failure to do so will hurt farmers financially.

The prosecution was made under the Water Resources Act 1991, S85. Although S85 was repealed by the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) (No 2) Regulations 2009, SI 2009/3381 on 6 April 2010, they have been replaced by similar provisions.

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