Following my report for the Guardian that 87% of cattle farms in North Devon were breaching environmental regulations, the Environment Agency’s latest report reveals that 52% of farms inspected in England in 2021 were found to have breached rules around storage of slurry, silage and agricultural fuel oil.
The data is published in the EA’s ‘Regulating for People, Environment and Growth, 2021’ report. It also states that 43% of inspected farms were found to be non-compliant with at least one of the Farming Rules for Water.
The dairy sector was identified as the main offender, responsible for half of all farming’s serious pollution incidents. The report notes particular concerns around slurry storage and management.
Supermarkets and milk buyers ought to be asking serious questions of their dairy producers and working with them to ensure compliance with all environmental standards. With farming the leading cause of river pollution, dirty dairy deserves to attract the same headlines as the sewage scandal.