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Teagasc Accuse Northern Ireland Poultry Farms Of Falsifying Official Documentation.

In Northern Ireland, poultry farmers are accused of having allegedly used falsified official documents; same needed to obtain necessary planning permission, in order to provide evidence that they can safely dispose of or store manure, produced by their expanding farms.

Teagasc, the Irish Republic’s agri-food agency, had launched an internal investigation into the planning applications of dozens of northern poultry farmers beginning in 2021 and to-date, investigations are understood to have identified over 20 cases of falsification or the amending of applied applications, with farmers names used without permission or consent regarding chicken litter contracts.

Teagasc claim that it found that most of these applications used documentation purporting to be issued on their behalf, which were either completely falsified or certainly altered, and also without their knowledge or indeed consent.

These same planning applications relate to the export of chicken manure/litter, latter a rich fertiliser, produced by poultry farms. In order to obtain necessary planning permissions, applicants must provide continued evidence that they can safely dispose of, or store, manure produced by their farm units. However, most farms do not have the capacity to store the quantity of litter produced, as these farms continue to expand.

Historically, waste/manure/litter from poultry units in Northern Ireland would have been spread on local agricultural land or for use in the mushroom industry.
However, in more recent times the rapid growth in chicken farming has produced an unsustainable volume of poultry manure, both in Northern Ireland and indeed to a lesser extent here in the Republic of Ireland also. Some 65,000 tonnes of known chicken waste were imported into the Republic just last year. Since 2017, over 280,000 tonnes of poultry litter were imported into the Republic of Ireland.

This same poultry litter produces harmful emissions such as Ammonia, latter gas which is already at extremely high levels across the whole island of Eire. There also, is a further downside to the production of such quantities of poultry litter, with same known to cause environmental and human health risks, through water, air and soil pollution; with the spreading of antimicrobial residues, causing respiratory issues.

The Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture says it was contacted by Teagasc, latter here in Southern Ireland, following internal investigations by Teagasc last year.

In Ireland over 110 million birds are processed for meat and 900 million eggs are produced annually. There are estimated to be 24.5 million chickens being produced in Northern Ireland at any given time.

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