Elliott in call on slurry ban

Pacemaker Press Belfast 9/3/2012
Former UUP Leader Tom Elliott at stormont  office on friday following the news that he has stepped down as party leader on thursday Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press Belfast 9/3/2012 Former UUP Leader Tom Elliott at stormont office on friday following the news that he has stepped down as party leader on thursday Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Ulster Unionist Member of Parliament Tom Elliott has written to the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Michelle McIlveen urging her to extend the period in which farmers are allowed to spread slurry on their land.

Mr Elliott, pictured, said he had been contacted by constituents on the issue.

“I have written to Minister McIlveen asking to allow more time for farmers to spread their slurry,” he explained.

“The slurry ban is due to come into effect on 14th October, but due to the inclement weather during our summer it has been impossible for slurry to be spread in an environmentally safe way. The inclement weather has also meant that livestock have been kept indoors for longer, and haven’t been out in fields as long as farmers would have liked.

“The combination of these two factors have meant a huge surplus of slurry building up in many farmers tanks, and with the ban due to come into effect in the middle of October, alleviating the surplus is currently very difficult, indeed practically impossible as it is dependent on dry weather.”

Mr Elliott continued: “In 2012 the period in which slurry could be spread was extended to allow slurry to be spread beyond the 15th October. Areas like Fermanagh have been particularly badly hit with inclement weather and this has meant many farmers have been unable to spread their slurry. I would ask the Minister to look into this with the hope that the ban is pushed back to enable farmers to spread their slurry.”