Welsh farmers are revolting

wrongfoot

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So when was the last time you saw an EA or NRW officer pouring a oil drum full of sh*t into a river? They have to operate within the law and as I well know, sometimes they are intensely frustrated because they are unable to take what they see as appropriate action.

You want the law changed to make it easier to prosecute? Then badger your MP. Get the press and tv people involved. Show them the pollutions on the ground. Embarrass the wrong-doers.

I can't speak for DB, but maybe the con he's referring to is governmental?

<cynical mode>
If you're a government who wants to enable polluters.
1. Pass environmental legislation,
2. Take credit for being green,
3. Under-fund the regulator to make sure the legislation has no effect as offenses won't be identified and where they are can't be prosecuted due to lack of evidence and resource,
4. Appoint a board to the regulator that's much too polite (risk averse, toothless and quiet by preference) to make sure you're not called out,
5. Actively support polluting lobbies and criticize and undermine enforcement directly, through ministerial dept. queries whenever the regulator actually does manage to do something (this topic being a great example),
6. Then blame the arms length regulator (quango) for failing to protect the environment to avoid criticism for polluting outcomes you actually wanted to enable.
7. Laugh all the way to the ballot box.
</cynical mode>

The regulator isn't at fault for such government duplicity, but many feel that perhaps it should call out this stuff rather than be silently complicit. Admittedly that's probably more a failing at board/senior management level, but if people want to highlight that they damn well should even if it offends EA or NRW people working on the front line.

Also it's my experience most of the people on the front-line are aware of this, don't like it either and don't need people "sticking up for them" if that stifles proper debate and acknowledgement of the circumstances.
 
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diawl bach

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Eloquently put SM. :)

Plaid Cymru has tabled a motion that the regulations be annulled

Returning to the article in the OP I'd say Plaid Cymru will be roasted for this proposal for years to come, it destroys any pretensions they may have to represent a clean, green Wales and although I have voted for them in the past the chance of them getting my support again is about zero.
.
 

BobP

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If a few of you were to go & spend a week with an EA/NRW fisheries officer or pollution officer I can guarantee your eyes would be opened more than somewhat. Of course, you won't do it same as you don't believe me because your eyes are locked shut.

When I joined what became the EA in 1977 we were in a boom time. Plenty of bodies on the ground and lots of work. Within a couple of years we had a bust cycle. No more recruitment, row back on everything, only do the minimum. Then we had another boom cycle followed by a bust cycle and it was like that right up until I retired. I survived 4 major re-organisations and I forget how many local ones, so I guess I must have been doing something right.

I survived a major investigation because some total dick of an angler alleged that I had removed all the pike from the River Thames in our area. Because the allegation had been made there had to be a full investigation and just about every fisheries management job I had been involved in for the previous 20 years was put under the microscope. A very unpleasant two weeks and I should have walked away from the Agency, but decided to stick it out and get my 30 year long service award which was due the following year.

So, do you really think the people on the ground are a waste of space because that is how it comes over. They aren't, but you won't believe that either. Why should someone who has spent 3 or 4 years getting a decent degree want to work for the EA/NRW? The pay is nothing to write home about and that person could easily earn 2 or 3 times as much in the private sector. Why should they bother when everyone out there thinks - and is not shy about saying - that they are useless, speaking from a position of lofty ignorance of course. Why do they bother? Why not just walk away and leave those selfish, stupid and ignorant people to fend for themselves. Let them find out for themselves what life is really like. Let them go trudging through the rain looking for that little field drain that is causing that drip feed of sileage liquor, or try to trace a chemical spillage through a maze of drains in an industrial estate that has been built over three times in the last 50 years and no-one has a clue what drain goes where or how,

I am blo*dy glad I'm out of it on the whole. I've done my stint at counting the corpses of fish after some ***** has left a tap running somewhere. I've had my fill of fish rescues wearing dry suits on a blazing July day when 5 miles of river has run out of wet stuff. I had enough of fish surveys on a miserable bitter February day when there are 300 gudgeon to measure from the first run through with the electric fishing gear and there are two more runs to do to get a decent fish population estimate. I had a gut full of going to a lake to be confronted with an angler sitting there with a wall of dead and stinking fish in front of him complaining that "it's not fishing very well today." I had a belly full of picking up the phone to hear some fish supplier ranting at me personally because I had refused an application to stock fish to a club lake because the health check was out of date and referred to fish of the species that were not going to be stocked anyway. The next phone call was the angling club also ranting about the same issue. I should have just consented it and let the fish to be stocked die plus whatever other fish that were in the lake that would have been infected. Perhaps they would have learned a lesson but I doubt they would have had the intelligence.

Which one of you, I wonder, has the balls to phone the National Fisheries Laboratory at Brampton and ask if they could spare an hour or two to show you some of the work they do on your behalf. A lost cause I suspect.
 

glueman

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I would add 'hard working farmers' to that con trick too. Not saying the majority do not work (although some of them barely do), but they do not work any harder than anybody else and have a lifestyle with little market risk that is hard to beat.
Try working 7 days a week with livestock and during lambing 24 hours a day,when you have you are entitled to comment. Cattle and sheep come first even on Christmas day.
 

wrongfoot

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I don't think you or current employees of the SEPA NRW EA are automatically undervalued just because some people feel that there's not enough done to protect the environment. That's no more than valid than blaming individual soldiers for the Somme rather than tactics and leadership.

I notice at least some of those people think it's down to a lot of the same causes you also take issue with like under funding, under resourcing, lack of government support and political maneuvering. When you think about it, that acknowledges, even at more senior grades, plenty of people can still look in the mirror and feel they've done more than could be expected to protect the public. Especially if that public voted for a government that is hamstringing their ability to protect their environment...

I hope this'll make you feel less personally attacked.
 
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diawl bach

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Try working 7 days a week with livestock and during lambing 24 hours a day,when you have you are entitled to comment. Cattle and sheep come first even on Christmas day.
Codyarrow, a respected forum member, is entitled to voice an opinion on any matter he chooses, he doesn't have to have had his arm up a cow's orifice on Boxing Day to qualify.
 

Mies

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Try working 7 days a week with livestock and during lambing 24 hours a day,when you have you are entitled to comment. Cattle and sheep come first even on Christmas day.

So what? It was your choice, I assume :rolleyes:
 

codyarrow

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Codyarrow, a respected forum member, is entitled to voice an opinion on any matter he chooses, he doesn't have to have had his arm up a cow's orifice on Boxing Day to qualify.
Thing is I've actually done a fair bit of lambing. :)

Farmers receive a good wedge from the tax payer, I think we are entitled to tell them not to throw **** in the river. Now we have left CAP we have a once in a lifetime chance for change.
 

raphael

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Some friends and myself are struggling inside one conservation association, as well as many other people in this country with some "sister-NGO" (and in any country in fact). We cannot understand how things can go so poorly righteous...
Last week there was a guy in Brittany who was facing a court for the fourth time in a decade for alleged slurry spill in a trout and salmon stream. He's been fined to 750 euros and that's it. Pretty sure the fifth pollution will come soon...
Lats year we prosecuted another one for a similar reason, (two major pollution in 3 years, last one resulting in 150m3 of slurry flowing in a salmonid nursery stream): against all evidences and official reports he 's been discharged by the judge! And we had to pay for the prosecution costs!!
What's that?
And again, and again... They even threaten enviro-activist and conservationnist anglers to death and nobody says anything! You would do only 1% of their wrongdoings, fire from hell would fall on your shoulders... They argue they have no power (!!) but they have all rights.

codyarrow said:
Now we have left CAP we have a once in a lifetime chance for change.
You might be right but do not miss your chance!
Now the CAP is under negotiation for next term (until 2027): nothing planned for agro-forestry, nothing planned for organic practices, no will to stop the use of toxic phytoproducts, etc...

R
 
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wrongfoot

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Try working 7 days a week with livestock and during lambing 24 hours a day,when you have you are entitled to comment. Cattle and sheep come first even on Christmas day.
If you're a farmer with a marginally economic farm, no resource to hire other staff to suit workload, no support structure other than yourself and are stuck in that situation financially or for some other reason. Then I've a lot of sympathy for you and those like you.
  • I've felt complete compassion for agricultural polluters when they've been in those circumstances and something went wrong. Negligence isn't so negligent when there's no resource (one person can only do so much without breaking) and absolutely no money to replace aging plant. I've encountered that unequivocal situation maybe twice in my career. There still needed to be accountability, but I was sad for everyone at the outcome.
  • I've encountered a different situation where pollution was a result of poor choices, short-term thinking etc. rather than a genuine lack of options, 100's of times. Often still room for compassion, a person suffering depression isn't going to be making the best decisions etc. but on balance not so much of a mitigating argument.
  • I've also encountered situations 100's of times where funds clearly were available to manage better, people knew the risks, but reckless choices were still made. Little room for empathy from the rest of us when things go wrong. I've also heard those people pleading poverty in court when it was demonstrably the opposite case, trying to benefit from the real difficulties of some of their fellow farmers, while comparatively profiteering at their expense. Maybe those are the "hard done by farmers" that posters think are full of it?
Agricultural pollution is a massive issue and (although everyone likes to think they have a harder time than the other guy) the vast majority of agricultural polluters are in the latter two categories.

If you're not a polluting farmer then you don't have to "wear the cap" of those making bad decisions particularly in the dairy sub-sector. I'm sure they want your support but do they deserve it just because they farm too?
 
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glueman

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If you're a farmer with a marginally economic farm, no resource to hire other staff to suit workload, no support structure other than yourself and are stuck in that situation financially or for some other reason. Then I've sympathy for you and those like you.
  • I've felt complete compassion for agricultural polluters when they've been in those circumstances and something went wrong. Negligence isn't so negligent when there's no resource (one person can only do so much without breaking) and absolutely no money to replace aging plant. I've encountered that unequivocal situation maybe twice in my career. There still needed to be accountability, but I was sad for everyone at the outcome.
  • I've encountered a different situation where pollution was a result of poor choices, short-term thinking etc. rather than a genuine lack of options, 100's of times. Often still room for compassion, a person suffering depression isn't going to be making the best decisions etc. but on balance not so much of a mitigating argument.
  • I've also encountered situations 100's of times where funds clearly were available to manage better, people knew the risks, but reckless choices were still made. Little room for empathy from the rest of us when things go wrong. I've also heard those people pleading poverty in court when it was demonstrably the opposite case, trying to benefit from the real difficulties of some of their fellow farmers, while comparatively profiteering at their expense. Maybe those are the "hard done by farmers" that posters think are full of it?
Agricultural pollution is a massive issue and (although everyone likes to think they have a harder time than the other guy) the vast majority of agricultural polluters are in the latter two categories.

If you're not a polluting farmer then you don't have to "wear the cap" of those making bad decisions particularly in the dairy sub-sector. I'm sure they want your support but do they deserve it just because they farm too?
Farming is a tough industry,I no longer farm as it was my ex wife's farm. But I am surrounded by farm land and one of my neighbours in our small community has said Mr X was out at 4 o'clock with his machinery and woke me up, my answer to that is the conditions were right for what needed doing. You are living in the middle of a factory because that is what a farm is
 

diawl bach

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Factories are buildings, a farmer works the land. It may be their workplace but it isn't a factory, land is a living entity.
 

wrongfoot

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Farming is a tough industry,I no longer farm as it was my ex wife's farm. But I am surrounded by farm land and one of my neighbours in our small community has said Mr X was out at 4 o'clock with his machinery and woke me up, my answer to that is the conditions were right for what needed doing. You are living in the middle of a factory because that is what a farm is

I don't think anyone posting on this thread has allied themselves with people complaining that others had to work at 4am. I certainly don't think that way. I don't see that as relevant to pollution though, I don't get to fly tip into other peoples gardens if I do it at 4am, farmers don't get a free pass for slurry to rivers either.

Farming is tough for lots of other reasons, I can't think of any unique ones though? It's physical, and as you get older that's harder and harder. When you look at the increasing average age of farmers that's a lot of people not being able to step back into different roles. But try and find a plasterer over 45 who hasn't blown their shoulders...

I know some about factories ;) there's factories that play fair and those that pollute. It's a bit of a different world because of land use circumstances etc., but if a factory was caught washing the equivalent of even one tonne of slurry* into a river as a one off they'd be dealt with in some respect, if solely to stop it happening again. Even with cuts to regulation if they were noticed doing it 4 or 5 times a year there'd be further consequences. IMO farmers should be very careful about comparing themselves with other industries. Almost inevitably the comparison demonstrates just how much more impact the agricultural sector is allowed.

Maybe they should look to compare with water companies who also put a lot of **** into our rivers when it rains? :D

*un-permitted slurry. I'm aware that there are permitted effluents that have an impact and these are allowed. Those discharges should be controlled, bad spreading, farm run-off etc. isn't.
 
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JayP

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St Neots, Cambs
Some friends and myself are struggling inside one conservation association, as well as many other people in this country with some "sister-NGO" (and in any country in fact). We cannot understand how things can go so poorly righteous...
Last week there was a guy in Brittany who was facing a court for the fourth time in a decade for alleged slurry spill in a trout and salmon stream. He's been fined to 750 euros and that's it. Pretty sure the fifth pollution will come soon...
Lats year we prosecuted another one for a similar reason, (two major pollution in 3 years, last one resulting in 150m3 of slurry flowing in a salmonid nursery stream): against all evidences and official reports he 's been discharged by the judge! And we had to pay for the prosecution costs!!
What's that?
And again, and again... They even threaten enviro-activist and conservationnist anglers to death and nobody says anything! You would do only 1% of their wrongdoings, fire from hell would fall on your shoulders... They argue they have no power (!!) but they have all rights.


You might be right but do not miss your chance!
Now the CAP is under negotiation for next term (until 2027): nothing planned for agro-forestry, nothing planned for organic practices, no will to stop the use of toxic phytoproducts, etc...

R
A common occurrence in France it would seem - https://www.letelegramme.fr/dossier...NvU-1bsn_sIP6aqzQkVW-pOCxrqjpscCQNWK7pEesR4LU
 

Dingbat

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...

Which one of you, I wonder, has the balls to phone the National Fisheries Laboratory at Brampton and ask if they could spare an hour or two to show you some of the work they do on your behalf. A lost cause I suspect.

Don't they do open days? Never see a notice for them on here ...
 

codyarrow

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Farming is a tough industry,
Is it?

My neighbours claimed half a million pound in subs over a ten year period and put a grand total of 15 sheep off in that time, yes as many as that.
Thankfully this keeps his tractor off the field at 4,00am.

If the generally public had an inkling of the way the system works there would be an outcry. About the same time BBC Scot brought some city analysts in to assess 'risk' in regards to farming. They were staggered to find how little it was as compared to other markets. It's hard working engineers and retailers we should feel sorry for.
 

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