The livestock sector in Great Britain has revealed its relief that the European Commission has decided not to amend the thresholds for poultry and pigs. British livestock was also pleased to hear that the Commission won’t be including cattle in the Industrial Emissions Directive.
The industry has, however, claimed that proposed measures on manure spreading could still impact on British livestock farmers.
The legislation, which was known as the IPPC Directive, has been the focus of sustained NFU lobbying since 2007 and these recent comments have come following the publication of a commission report that responded to a number of ‘review clauses’.
New clauses were included in 2010 which allowed the Commission to review emissions thresholds for poultry, mixes pig and poultry farms, and to assess the need to control emissions from cattle. However, the latest news has revealed that these will now not be implemented.
The report has also revealed that the Commission will investigate in more detail if EU-wide measures should be introduced for manure spreading and for combustion plants less than 50 megawatts, which the NFU believes may affect some glasshouses growing protected edibles.
This work will be undertaken under the review of the EU Thematic Strategy for Air Pollution.
Chief environment adviser Dr Diane Mitchell said: “This is a great relief for the livestock sector and we are pleased to see that common-sense has prevailed. The NFU has remained convinced that the directive is ill-suited to the agriculture sector and argued that the costs of extending the scope of the directive would have far outweighed the environmental benefits.
“We are, however, concerned about the proposals to look at possible additional EU controls on manure spreading and combustion plant less than 50 megawatts. We would urge the Commission to recognise the value of industry-led initiatives, such as Tried & Tested, in helping to improve nutrient management on-farm and to also acknowledge the fact that national controls are already in place for combustion plants, before it considers any additional measures.
“We are making sure that we are closely following the discussions in Brussels on the review of the EU Thematic Strategy to ensure that we have a satisfactory outcome for British farmers and growers.”