Farmers ‘scapegoated’ over littering

IFA Deputy President Eddie Downey has delivered a strong warning to local authorities about their heavy-handed approach towards farmers on the public’s littering, and has demanded that letters targeting landowners for other people’s rubbish be withdrawn immediately.

IFA Deputy President Eddie Downey has delivered a strong warning to local authorities about their heavy-handed approach towards farmers on the public’s littering, and has demanded that letters targeting landowners for other people’s rubbish be withdrawn immediately.

His warning follows the threat from Kilkenny County Council to impose fines of up to €130,000 on landowners after rubbish dumped by passers-by was discovered in roadside ditches and fields. “Farmers are very annoyed that they are being scapegoated. Litter creates an unsightly mess and can cause injury to livestock. This is an attempt by Kilkenny County Council to abdicate its own responsibility for keeping the countryside clean and stopping the proliferation of littering by unthinking members of the public.”

He said, “IFA has run a number of campaigns highlighting the problems of litter in the countryside. While we will continue to play our part, farmers cannot be held liable and it is the responsibility of local authorities to keep the countryside free of litter.”

Eddie Downey said local authorities would be better served using their resources to find those guilty of the littering and impose the fines on them.