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Gilts Are Production Pigs under IPPC Regulations

by 5m Editor
20 June 2011, at 9:36am

UK - Gilt owners are being encouraged to review their permit under the IPPC Directive by the Environment Agency.

Any pigs, other than those falling within the definition of sows (i.e. a female pig that has had her first litter), that weigh over 30kg (including gilts) will be counted as production pigs for the purposes of calculating pig places and determining whether a farm is operating over the IPPC Directive/Environmental Permitting Regulation threshold, according to a position paper issued by the Environment Management Technical Services at the Environment Agency.

In the light of this clarification, farmers currently operating without a permit who are in fact over the threshold must apply for a permit without delay.

The Environment Agency will communicate this position to existing permit holders and send out clarification to the sector as a whole.

BPEX and NPA will communicate this position to the sector and encourage farmers who require a permit to apply without delay.

Farmers who have a permit but have not previously included some or all of their gilts will need to inform the Environment Agency about the required increase in permitted pig places, says the Agency.

The Environment Agency will calculate what this means in terms of increased ammonia emissions:

  • If it represents less than 10 per cent increase in ammonia then the Environment Agency will carry out a non-chargeable permit variation to change the number of production pigs in the permit to the new value.
  • If it represents more than 10 per cent increase in ammonia then the Environment Agency will inform the operator that there will be a variation charge £370. The Environment Agency will revisit the original modelling to see the amount of headroom.
    • If the increase is less than the headroom then the Environment Agency will carry out the permit variation to change the number of production pigs in the permit to the new value.
    • If the increase is greater than the headroom, the Environment Agency will have to consider the need for an ammonia improvement programme.

The Environment Agency will not include local wildlife sites in any re-assessment of the modelling.

At this stage, the Environment Agency is unable to confirm that farmers will not be required to carry out any further ammonia emissions modelling as a result of an taken to this issue. Farmers will be informed before any costs are incurred to give them the opportunity to take alternative action such as reducing the number of gilts held.

The Environment Agency will ensure that the Pig and Poultry Assurance Scheme inspectors are informed about the permitted increase in pig places. Farmers will need to ensure that the increase in permitted numbers is reflected in their Pollution Inventory returns.