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Government plans to ban farm dumps and fires

By John McKenna

The Government is no longer willing to turn a blind eye to the way farmers dispose of their waste.

It has launched a consultation paper Waste Management Regulations for England and Wales 2005 that proposes the open burning of farm waste on farm dumps becomes illegal.

Environment Minister Elliot Morley said: For many years agriculture has been excluded from our national waste management controls. These proposals will extend existing waste management controls to farm waste for the first time.

Agricultures exemption from 1992s Landfill Directive and 1994s Waste Framework Directive is currently the subject of legal proceedings by the European Commission.

The European Court of Justice is expected to rule against the UK and the Government has accepted that the exclusion contravenes the directives.

National Farmers Union (NFU) waste spokesman Robert Cauldwell said: We recognise some practices, like burning plastic wastes on farm, are not sustainable.

To improve the way farmers dispose of their waste and increase recovery, the Government has given £1 million of Landfill Tax revenue to the Agricultural Waste Stakeholders Forum.

The proposals to bring England and Wales farmers in line with the rest of Europe are open to consultation until March 18 2005 and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said they would be made law by June 2005.

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