Response from Ceri Davies re chicken farms

Ein cyf/Our ref:

Eich cyf/Your ref:

Ty Cambria/Cambria House

29 Hoel Casnewydd/Newport Road Caerdydd/Cardiff

CF24 0TP Ebost/Email: Ffôn/Phone:

Chris White Conservation officer

Campaign for the Protection of Welsh Fisheries (CPWF)

21 February 2020

Dear Chris

Disposal of contaminated water from Fron Bella broiler unit, Pentrefoelas, Conwy

Thank you for your letter, we appreciate your interest in this matter which is also important to us.

An Environmental Permit was issued to GB Jones Ltd in September 2017 to operate Fron Bella Broiler Unit. It allows a maximum of 150,000 birds to be housed at any time and requires the operator to follow best available techniques to minimise the impact from the operation.

Chemicals must be stored in a suitable bunded container to avoid accidental spillages, and contaminated water must be contained.

The standard procedure for cleaning housing after the birds have been removed at the end of the crop is first for the manure and bedding to be removed and then for the building to be washed with water before it is finally damped down with disinfectant. The washwater is contained in a tank before being spread to land. It should not contain any disinfectant.

Our local Environment Team regulates the permit for Fron Bella Farm. A routine inspection visit to the farm will be undertaken within the next month. The inspection visit will check for compliance with conditions on disposal of washwater and confirm the disinfectant procedure and the type used.

An NRW Fisheries Officer will also attend the permit inspection visit to identify any potential issues for fisheries, although it must be noted that we have no evidence of any current fisheries issues arising from this farm’s operations. Planned monitoring of fish populations in the Nug and the Merddwr later this year will provide evidence on the current condition of these tributaries.

With respect to your concerns about the use of Virkon, we have not yet had clarification that this is the disinfectant type used at Fron Bella Farm. Virkon is one of a number of approved disinfectants that are biodegradable if applied to land. The inspection visit will clarify that any

Tŷ Cambria · 29 Heol Casnewydd · Caerdydd · CF24 0TP Cambria House · 29 Newport Road · Cardiff · CF24 0TP

disinfectants in use are being applied and disposed of in a manner that is compliant with the permit.

The Protocol you refer to covers disposal of contaminated water resulting from environmental incidents. Routine washwater disposal would not be covered by this but was considered and assessed as part of the permit determination. All farms must comply with the Code of Good Agricultural Practice (CoGAP) to protect water and land from pollution from their activities and our inspection will assess compliance with this.

Yours sincerely

Ceri Davies Executive Director

Evidence, Policy & Permitting

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