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Slurry crisis demands government to be decisive – Kenny

27 October, 2016 - by Martin Kenny TD

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine will have to take action and approach the slurry storage and spreading crisis which is building in the North West, says Martin Kenny, Sinn Féin spokesperson for Agriculture and TD for Sligo, Leitrim, West Cavan and South Donegal.

Deputy Kenny said:

“We all understand the reasons behind a slurry spreading deadline and, of course, support the prevention of pollution and other ecological aims for which it was designed.

“However, we have a situation in the North West that after a wet summer, slurry storage is full and the ground has not been fit for spreading. Now, even though the deadline has passed, the weather has been dry and the ground more suitable, but farmers are being threatened with severe penalties if they go ahead and do what is necessary.

“This is the perfect example of why farming by calendar does not work. The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, assured me and other elected representatives from the region that some flexibility would be shown in the circumstances.

“A phone number was supplied but farmers calling it are referred to the section of the Department dealing with the Nitrates Directive and are told not to spread.

“Now that winter is here and it is time to put stock back indoors, this is a crisis. There is no room for delay as the weather could be wet again next week and the Minister and the Department have to be decisive and act now. 

“I am calling on Minister Creed to clear up the confusion between two sections of his Department in animal welfare and nitrates and to help farmers deal with this situation while weather permits.” 

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