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Farron kicks up a stink over Government NVZ directive

January 8, 2008 3:00 PM

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat spokesman for the Countryside spoke today in a parliamentary debate to question the wisdom of the Government's decision to introduce restrictions on farmers in 'nitrate vulnerable zones'.

The directive would see farmers in certain areas such as the Kent Estuary restricted on spreading slurry in the winter months, and would therefore also be required to have capacity for storing slurry for up to six months. Farmers would be forced to dump their slurry in a very short period of time after the end of winter, causing an almighty stink at just the time when tourists are starting to arrive in our area in large numbers.

The changes will also place an extra burden on the farming industry which has already suffered to the tune of over £200m in the wake of the foot and mouth outbreak last summer. Local farmers will have to spend up to £40,000 each on building new, bigger storage tanks.

Tim Farron said:

"Given the enormous cost to the farming industry and the ecological damage that the proposals will bring in exchange for a tiny gain, I want to see the Minister return to Brussels to seek to mitigate the impact of this directive. This is yet more evidence of this Government's apparent disregard for farmers."