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Chicken farmer fined over sickly stench and flies

A Bucklands poultry farmer whose indoor egg laying operation caused such a bad stench that school pupils had to be sent home has been fined $17,500 in the Pukekohe District Court following a prosecution by Environment Waikato.

Amzad Ali pleaded guilty to three pollution-related charges last year and was sentenced this week.

Following numerous public complaints about a sickly stench and swarms of flies at Ali’s farm and his failure to comply with an abatement notice served under the Resource Management Act 1991, Environment Waikato took out a prosecution.

Ali admitted the unlawful discharge of chicken effluent to land where it may enter water, the unlawful discharge of effluent to a tributary of the Tutaenui Stream, and breaching an abatement notice issued in 2006 to cease discharges to land and remove accumulated chicken effluent from the site.

Investigating officer Evan Billington said the offending occurred over 2006 and 2007 due to Ali’s poor effluent management practices, with Buckland residents complaining of highly offensive odours and swarms of flies.

“The local Buckland school has sent pupils home in the past because the smell was so sickly and residents were regularly experiencing offensive odours inside their homes,” Mr Billington said.

“Prosecution has been a last resort in this case and has resulted from Mr Ali’s failure to meet compliance standards despite the efforts of both Environment Waikato and the Franklin District Council to work with him. This conviction and fine is a strong message that Environment Waikato, the public and the courts will not tolerate offending of this nature,” said Mr Billington.

After Environment Waikato’s investigation and prosecution, Mr Ali had begun tidying up the property and odour complaints had become much less frequent, Mr Billington said.

“We will continue to monitor the site closely to ensure compliance with the relevant effluent rules.”

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