Friday, May 06, 2011

Dealing with dirty dairying

Dirty dairying is one of our countries biggest environmental problems, resulting in polluted and fetid lakes, rivers and waterways. Up in Northland, the regional council has the right way of dealing with it: prosecute the polluters:

A Northland farmer has been fined $54,000 for polluting waterways with dairy effluent.

Mervyn Pinny of Kerikeri had denied charges brought against him by Northland Regional Council, relating to a farm he owns at Awarua, near Kaikohe.

Farm manager Hugh Bolton, who lives on the property, earlier admitted three charges and was fined $10,000.

The court heard that on separate occasions in 2009, large volumes of effluent from a farm irrigator and a cow standing-pad found their way into a stream.

The effluent also ponded up to 40cm deep on low lying parts of the farm.

$54,000 for a literal lake of shit seems to be getting off lightly. That's not only an environmental hazard - its a health hazard to the rest of us.

This is the sort of action that needs to happen across the entire country. If farmers are going to break the law, destroy our environment, and endanger our health, they need to be prosecuted, fined, and if necessary, jailed until they clean up their act.