Pig poo contaminates land

A land owner has admitted polluting land and nearby water with pig poo after claiming pigs chewed through slurry pipes.

Elwyn Gwyn Lewis of Mount Street, Welshpool was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,884.46, along with a £15 victim surcharge after admitting the offence at court this week.

For the Environment Agency, Jill Crawford told the court that back in 2006 officers went to Welshpool to inspect a tributary of the Afon Banwy, known as the Cyfronydd Brook after a report of pollution by a local resident.

Investigations showed slurry and dirty water from a nearby pig farm were pooling in a field, and then running into nearby water.

The court heard a ‘large area of land was heavily contaminated’ with pig slurry and dirty water which was flowing into the Cyfronydd Brook.

Environment Agency officers also saw the pig slurry entering a tributary of the Cyfronydd Brook through a partially hidden white plastic pipe.

Lewis failed to attend several court hearings throughout 2007 and 2008, he was arrested and brought before the courts in August 2009.

Lewis again failed to attend the pre-trial hearing and was finally arrest by the police and dragged to court this week.

In mitigation, the court heard that Lewis was only the landowner when the incident happened and he was not living at the property.

The land was being rented out to a pig company and it was claimed that the incident occurred due to pigs chewing through the pipes.

In sentencing, the Magistrate said that due to the lack of responsibility from Lewis the high pollution level was allowed to continue, it was also stressed there had been a lack of cooperation with the court.

Luke Walsh

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