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Review of pig and poultry permits coming to UK producers

The Environment Agency will be contacting permitted pig and poultry farms in February via letter to inform operators that their permit is due to be reviewed and updated.

5 February 2019, at 4:26pm

The NFU is reminding all producers to ensure your permit is fully up to date and that you can meet the required techniques. The Environment Agency (EA) must conduct a review and update your permit.

The EA anticipates that they can mostly use the information they already hold about your farm. The charge for this review will be a variation fee of £380. The NFU lobbied hard during the charges consultation process to bring this down from the original proposal of £2,406.

  • The EA will review all BAT conclusions that apply to your farm, and do not expect to need additional information from you. The EA will get in touch if it does.
  • The EA will contact you to notify you of the expected changes to your permit.
  • The EA will issue an updated permit to set these out.
  • The EA will then issue an invoice for £380.


The environmental permit requires operators to farm using Best Available Techniques (BAT). BAT is reviewed and updated periodically through the BAT Reference Document (BREF) for the Intensive Rearing of Poultry or Pigs (Industrial Emissions Directive 2010/65/EU).

A new version of the BREF was released in 2017 and this contains a series of BAT conclusions. The EA states that you need to be compliant by 21 February 2021.

The BAT conclusions were published on 21 February 2017. All permitted farms need to be compliant with the new BAT conclusions within four years of this date. The EA believes that by complying with your existing permit requirements, for the most part, you will already be meeting most of the newly revised techniques.

However, there are some additional requirements that apply to all farms, primarily around reporting emissions and in some instances requirements for new housing.

If you are considering building new sheds or facilities, expanding or changing your operation please speak to your site officer to check what the new requirements are.

The Environment Agency will be carrying out the review of all intensive farming permits from early 2019 until late 2020. It will be in contact with a revised permit and further information on any changes or requirements during this time period.

If you have any further questions please contact the EA's customer contact centre via 03708 506 506.

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