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New agreement on organic fertiliser control set to reduce administrative burden for pig and poultry sector

Issued by the

Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) have, following discussions with representatives of the pig and poultry industry, agreed a new approach for the control and management of pig and poultry manure from Integrated Pollution Prevention Control (IPPC) licensed installations. This integrated approach by the EPA and the DAFM will deliver an improved service to these operators by reducing the administrative burden and avoiding any potential duplication of effort, while ensuring continued protection of the environment and retaining effective control of the use of such fertiliser.

The control and management of organic fertiliser from licensed pig and poultry units is subject to control under a number of EU Directives and was therefore subject to controls being conducted by both the EPA and the Department. This agreement will see the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine conducting the required checks on the use of pig or poultry manure from licensed establishments and providing the necessary reports to the Agency. The reduced information requirements in relation to organic fertiliser at EPA licensed facilities were communicated to licensees in December.

The Director General of the EPA, Ms Laura Burke, said "In agreeing this new approach the EPA is seeking to streamline as much as possible the administrative burden on the intensive agriculture sector, while at the same time ensuring that the industry is fully compliant with its environmental responsibilities"

In welcoming the agreement, Minister Coveney highlighted 'this agreement will significantly assist the industry and make the transfer of pig or poultry manure to both new users and existing farms much easier. It will also help towards achieving compliance with the transitional arrangement put in place for the industry as part of the Review of Ireland’s Nitrates Action Programme'. The Minister also pointed out that the. 'Pig or poultry manure is a very valuable nutrient source particularly when used in the spring time'.

Notes to Editors: 

Under section 23 (4) of the European Communities (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No. 610 of 2010), DAFM require completed record of movement of Organic Fertiliser forms (Record 3) to be submitted to the Nitrates Section, Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine at the end of each year in respect of all exports of organic fertiliser (slurry/manure).

The last date for receipt by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, of records of movement of organic fertilisers has been extended to the 31st January (from the 31st Dec,2011)

DAFM published notices in the Irish Independent Newspaper (Farming Supplement) on 22/11/2011 and the Irish Farmers Journal on the 26/11/2011 and also issued letters to IPPC licensees in January 2012 on the new requirements for all exporters of organic fertiliser.

Environmental Protection Agency Acts 1992 to 2011, First Schedule identifies that activities which exceed the following thresholds are required to hold an Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) licence:

Class 6.1:

The rearing of poultry in installations, whether within the same complex or within 100  metres of the same complex, where the capacity exceeds 40,000 places.

Class 6.2:

The rearing of pigs in an installation, whether within the same complex or within 100 metres of the same complex, where the capacity exceeds—

750 places for sows in a breeding unit, or

285 places for sows in an integrated unit, or

2,000 places for production pigs.


In this paragraph—

‘breeding unit’ means a piggery in which pigs are bred and reared up to 30kg in weight;

‘integrated unit’ means a piggery in which pigs are bred and reared to slaughter;

‘production pig’ means any pig over 30kg in weight which is being fattened for slaughter;

‘sow’ means a female pig after its first farrowing.

Further information:  Annette Cahalane/ Emily Williamson, EPA Media Relations Office 053-9170770 (24 hours) or      or

Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine Press/Information Office, Agriculture House,Kildare Street, Dublin 2, E-mail;, Tel:01 6072802, Fax: (01) 6621165 

Date Released: 25 January 2012