'Grossly unfair': Farmers legally have to clean up rubbish illegally dumped on their farms
The "legal burden" placed on farmers to deal with rubbish illegally dumped on their farms needs to be addressed within the new illegal dumping plan, farm organisations have urged.
Environment Minister Denis Naughten and Rural and Community Development Minister Michael Ring launched the €2m plan in an effort to tackle "economic and environmental treason" of illegal dumping in the countryside. Aerial imagery from drones and satellites as well as the installation of CCTV cameras and better enforcement and prosecution actions are central to the plan.
While farm organisations welcomed the blueprint, ICMSA's farm and rural affairs committee chair Denis Drennan said that the "legal burden" placed on farmers due to rubbish illegally dumped on their land needs to be removed.
He called for a more "stringent attitude" to ensure illegal dumpers pay their fines.
"The legal burden on farmers to deal with rubbish dumped illegally on their lands is grossly unfair.
"We have a situation that has people convicted of illegally dumping and having very significant fines levied on them, but not paying those fines and instead serve a few days or a week in prison with the fines then written-off,"he said.
He also questioned the use of drones which he claimed are used by criminals who are illegally dumping rubbish to identify and map potential targets.