Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dirty dairying in the Bay of Plenty

Bay of Plenty Regional Council has begun its annual inspection of dairy farms to check compliance with their resource consents - and discovered that 10% of them are spewing shit into our rivers and streams:

Inspectors have visited half of the region's 350 dairy farms so far and found more than 20 with serious breaches of effluent discharge conditions.

Many of these involve unauthorised discharges of effluent to land or waterways.

This is not good news, and suggests once again that a large proportion of our farmers simply have contempt for the environment which sustains them. As for how to stop it, I've posted before about the lack of a proper compliance regime within the RMA (or rather, the reluctance of regional councils to use it properly). But if farmers are going to ignore the law and ignore repeated demands to clean up their act, there are only two courses of action: prosecution and withdrawing consent. Local bodies must send a clear message: if you can't farm cleanly, then you won't be farming at all.