Thursday, October 26, 2006

Dirty dairying in Canterbury

A survey by Environment Canterbury of local dairy farms has found that fewer than half are meeting their resource consent conditions around stock effluent. Once technical breaches - those not causing any adverse environmental effects - are eliminated, that still leaves only 55% complying. As Environment Canterbury notes, this simply isn't good enough. And it should not be allowed to continue. Farmers should not be allowed to spew shit into local waterways and poison people and wildlife the way they are doing.

As for what can be done about it, the RMA provides for criminal penalties, including jail time and fines for those who discharge contaminants (such as shit) without consent. Environment Canterbury should be using those provisions. Farmers will pollute as long as it is profitable to do so; clearly it needs to be made unprofitable until they get the message.