Trout & Salmon (UK) - - Fishing Reports -

Salmon & Trout Con­ser­va­tion has raised con­cerns about the Gov­ern­ment’s Agri­cul­ture Bill. Cur­rently, UK farm­ers re­ceive four bil­lion eu­ros in sub­si­dies each year, which is awarded on the ba­sis of farm size. The new Bill pro­poses that farm­ers be paid for de­liv­er­ing pub­lic goods: things that can­not be bought in a shop, such as clean wa­ter, flood pre­ven­tion, thriv­ing wildlife and healthy soils. S&TC is con­cerned about the planned fund­ing, en­force­ment and time scale. The char­ity’s ground-break­ing River­fly Cen­sus has pro­vided sci­en­tific ev­i­dence of on­go­ing na­tion­wide agri­cul­tural pol­lu­tion (phos­phates and sed­i­ment) that is de­stroy­ing in­sects and fish. But cur­rent in­ad­e­quate laws al­low farm­ers to es­cape pun­ish­ment. S&TC says, “For the small mi­nor­ity of farm­ers which do pol­lute, some­times repet­i­tively, strong ac­tion must be taken.” Change may take a long time. Gov­ern­ment pro­poses the cur­rent sys­tem of pay­ments un­der the EU’S Com­mon Agri­cul­tural Pol­icy will con­tinue un­til 2021, and then there will be a seven-year tran­si­tion pe­riod to the new sys­tem, where the old pay­ments will grad­u­ally ta­per off.

Will Gov­ern­ment beef up pol­lu­tion laws?

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