Pollution costs chicken factory £60,000

One of the UK's largest abattoirs that processes up to 700,000 chickens every week has been fined for a series of pollution incidents that happened last year.

Two Sisters Food Group operates the offending abattoir in Willand, Devon.

A series of braches of the plant’s environmental permit that led to soaring ammonia levels – more than 20 times the legal limit – in the stream into which effluent from the abattoir is discharged.

The company was fined £49,500 and ordered to pay court costs of £13,000 after pleading guilty to 18 offences under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2007 between January 5 and August 11, 2009.

“These offences occurred over a period of several months and were avoidable,” said Robert Tratt for the Agency.

“The company should have identified the problem sooner and put measures in place to ensure effluent from its plant was being treated to the required standard.”

Since the offences, the company has spent £120,000 upgrading its effluent plant and operational systems. Magistrates heard the site is now performing well and is fully compliant.

Sam Bond

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