EU farm group warns against new ammonia emission controls

By Keith Nuthall

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags European union Livestock

EU's agriculture organisation warns against new reforms
EU's agriculture organisation warns against new reforms
The European Union’s (EU’s) agricultural industry organisation has warned that newly proposed reforms to EU air quality rules could harm Europe’s livestock sector.

The concern of Brussels-based Copa-Cogeca is the European Commission’s suggestion that ammonia emissions be cut by 27% via reforms to the national emissions ceilings (NEC) directive. The gas is emitted from manure and other animal waste.

The organisation said that livestock producers had already invested in their waste handling systems to reduce ammonia emissions and the new limit would impose additional financial burdens on an industry often operating on narrow profit margins.

Copa-Cogeca secretary-general Pekka Pesonen said: “These proposals will…hit the livestock sector hard. This comes at a time when EU farm incomes are already down 1.3% this year and farmers need to meet many challenges.”

He said previous achievements by livestock farmers in cutting ammonia emissions should be counted towards meeting the new emissions requirements. For example between 1990 and 2011, ammonia emissions in Germany have fallen 20%; in Denmark, 30%; by 44% in Belgium; 67% in the Netherlands; by 58% in Estonia; and in Britain, by 22%.

Meanwhile, Copa-Cogeca also opposes a Commission proposal to include another environmental gas associated with the meat industry – methane – within the NEC directive, imposing more emissions controls.

Related topics Meat

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