Ahead of the debate, we briefed MPs on the devastating impact this crime has had on farming and rural communities, and the solutions needed to quell a problem that continues to plague the British countryside.
MP Saqib Bhatti (Cons, Meriden) who tabled the debate, opened the discussions by pointing out that there were over a million incidents of fly spills in England last year, an increase of 16% compared to the previous year. This not only harms the UK countryside, but also fuels anti-social behavior and organized crime, while causing serious damage to the environment and public health.
Furthermore, he raised the issue of police support to rural areas as assistance takes longer to arrive compared to urban areas. This means that farmers are often forced to confront criminals themselves to protect their businesses and their community.
MP Cherilyn Mackrory (Cons, Truro and Falmouth) backed our calls for tougher penalties that will deter criminals from dumping illegally and the need for a single reporting mechanism so farmers and land managers don’t have to report only once a fly spill incident.
Find a solution
MPs have raised a number of questions about how best to tackle the problem, including more support for councils and police to deal with fly tipping, more fixed penalty notices, more CCTV to catch criminals and educational campaigns to ensure that the public checks whether disposal services are licensed.
In response, Defra Minister Jo Churchill MP (Cons, Bury St Edmunds) stressed that her department continues to chair the National Fly Spill Prevention Group working with local authorities, police, the the environment and the NFU, to spread good education and learning.
We continue to bring our members’ concerns to Defra and educate the public about the impact of fly tipping on UK farmers.