Expert warns local farmers about impact of pollution

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 4 Jan 2019

An agricultural expert is warning local farmers about the risks of pollution, after figures revealed 50 environmental incidents have occurred in the region in the past decade.

Environmental Agency figures, obtained through a Freedom of Information request, showed more than one in ten waste and water pollution incidents (11 per cent) in England took place in Yorkshire and Humberside over a ten-year period.

Farm pollution incidents can have a devasting impact on wildlife, ecosystems and, in some cases, human health.

Thomas Jones, an executive at Farmers & Mercentile Insurance Brokers, is worried too many farmers are unaware of how destructive farm pollution can be to the environment.

He said: “What many farmers don’t realise is that the latest sentencing guidelines mean they could be slapped with unlimited fines, or up to five years in prison, if found responsible for a pollution breach.

“Couple this with the fact that the Environment Agency is pushing for farmers who damage the environment to lose their government grants, and you have a situation which many farmers simply could not recover from.

“In summary, farmers’ businesses are being put in serious jeopardy because of carelessness. This is not a risk any farmer should be willing to take.”

Jones warned that, while insurance may cover the cost of any clean-ups, it is not available to cover the cost of substantial fines imposed when farmers do not comply with the law.

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