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Ferris welcomes revision of Nitrates Directive

20 July, 2006

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture, Martin Ferris TD, has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for the Environment that the regulations governing the use of nitrates fertilisers by farmers are to be revised. The new guidelines will come into operation at the beginning of next month.

Deputy Ferris said: “The fact that the Government had to request a revision of the Directive as it applies to farmers here was both an indication of the crude manner in which it was introduced earlier in the year and the fact that successive Government over 15 years failed to address the issue.

“It is of course vital that water safety is protected and enhanced but successive Governments failed to carry out the necessary scientific research into specific Irish conditions, or to prepare Irish farmers for the implementation of a Directive that was issued in 1991.

“The regulations need to be tailored to different regional conditions and farmers need to be given assistance in adapting to the changes which in many cases will impose steep new costs.”ENDS

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