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Farmers will have to fence off cattle to prevent them accessing rivers and streams as part of new measures to improve water quality, Seán McCárthaigh.
A review by two government departments of a programme to ensure Ireland complies with the EU Nitrates Directive has recommended that farmers on more intensively stocked farms must take measures to prevent contact between cattle and water sources on their land from January 1, 2021.
Review - Nitrates - Action - Programme - Department
The review of the Nitrates Action Programme by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government said the deadline would give farmers the chance to plan fencing off cattle from watercourses and provide livestock with other drinking water sources.
The measure is expected to apply to 12,350 farms covering a total farmed area of around 675,000 hectares.
Farmers - Drinking - Points - Livestock - Rivers
Farmers will also be required to ensure drinking points for livestock must be located at least 20m from any rivers or streams by 2021 as well as to take measures to ensure there is no runoff from roadways and tracks into water sources.
A review group which examined 28 submissions from farming and environmental groups and local authorities, ruled out increasing buffer zones around rivers, streams, potable water and lakes as “unworkable”.
Requests - Farmers - Bodies - Group - Periods
Despite requests from farmers and farming representative bodies, the group also decided not to alter the existing periods for a ban on the spreading of organic fertilisers. “The proposed new action programme includes measures aimed at further strengthening the protection of water and attaining optimum soil fertility is consistent with both efficient agricultural production and effective water...
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