Poultry environmental permitting changes for 2024

Environment and climate

The Environment Agency is introducing changes to environmental permitting in poultry.

There is a new requirement for all permitted pig and poultry farms to produce a climate change risk assessment.

This is already a requirement for new permits but the EA (Environment Agency) is now expanding this to existing permit holders as well. The risk assessment should specify the identified risks and propose potential mitigation strategies.

By 1 April 2024 the EA expects all operators to at least have completed a climate change risk assessment. By 31 October 2026 the EA will expect all permitted poultry farms to have appropriate climate change adaptation planning embedded into their management system.

Template and guidance

The EA has published the following guidance to support permit operators in carrying out a risk assessment and embedding climate change adaptation into their management systems:

The NFU has been working with the EA and AHDB to provide a risk assessment template for pig and poultry producers which will shortly be available at: AHDB | Environmental permitting regulations.

If you have any queries about completing your risk assessment, NFU members can contact CallFirst on 0370 845 8458 and a member of the team will be happy to help.

NFU input and engagement

While the NFU acknowledges the necessity of adapting to the impacts of climate change, it’s essential for regulators to provide clarity to producers on any new standards and to ensure that there is no unnecessary administrative burden or additional cost.

The NFU has been actively engaged in discussions with the EA regarding the changes. Our involvement has included highlighting the potential impact of these changes on poultry farmers, as well as working with the EA and AHDB to ensure the guidance is easy to use and implement.

As a result, the EA has published revised guidance on its website, and a template risk assessment will shortly be available on AHDB’s website to help farmers comply with the requirement to carry out a climate change risk assessment.

While any regulatory change can pose challenges, it’s crucial to recognise the potential benefits that may arise from enhanced environmental permitting standards. These changes can contribute to greater resilience in the face of climate change, improve environmental sustainability, and enhance the reputation of the poultry farming sector.

The NFU will continue to engage with the Environment Agency to push for any administrative burden to be kept to an absolute minimum and for appropriate guidance to be provided to allow producers to easily integrate climate change adaptation into their business plans by the deadline of 31 October 2026.

NFU members, join our Environment and climate community to comment

This page was first published on 03 April 2024. It was updated on 10 April 2024.

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