NFU fears EU directive

The cost of household staples such as chicken and turkey could rise after MEPs voted for revised environmental controls, claims the National Farmers' Union (NFU).

If proposals under the revised Integrated Pollution Prevention Control (IPPC) Directive go ahead, the NFU has said poultry thresholds will be lowered, bringing in more poultry units.

Equivalent nitrogen excretion rates will be used to determine whether further pig and poultry are brought under control and on-farm feed mills and liquid feed preparation units will also be brought into the scope of the Directive.

NFU Deputy President Meurig Raymond said: "Instead of voting to reduce the impact of the proposals, MEPs on the Environment Committee have opted to vote in favour of increasing the burden, cost and bureaucracy for agriculture and horticulture at a time when food security and food production is of increasing national importance."

The current IPPC Directive affects pig and poultry units of at least 40,000 poultry places and 750 sows or 2000 finishing pigs over 30 kg. Under the new revised rules poultry units of at least 30,000 laying hens, 24,000 ducks, or 11,500 turkeys will be included in addition to those with 40,000 chickens.

Raymond added: "The proposals to include new lower thresholds for poultry units are particularly disappointing, but especially more so that seasonal turkey production will now be brought under new and extensive controls which will have an impact on costs. It just makes no sense that a farm producing Christmas turkeys for sale at the farm gate will be regulated in the same way as say a power station."