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Ferris criticises implementation of Nitrates Directive

31 January, 2006

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture, Martin Ferris TD has criticised the Government’s decision to go ahead with the implementation of the Nitrates Directive despite ongoing disagreements regarding the measure and the failure to adequately advise farmers on compliance.

Deputy Ferris said: “Successive Governments have been dragging their feet on this issue since 1991. Instead of conducting a proper scientific assessment of the effects the Directive would have in Irish conditions, and presenting a coherent argument based on that at EU level, they have deferred it to the stage where it is going to cause massive problems for many farmers.

“Not only will significant costs be imposed on farmers but they are not even sure as to how they are to comply with the new regulations, as the Government has failed to issue clear guidelines. While the protection of water quality is clearly essential, the whole issue has been tackled in a ham fisted manner that has only succeeded in alienating farmers.” ENDS

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