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Animal carcass and old tyres among waste being dumped at Northern Ireland's roadsides by fly-tippers

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Victor Chestnutt

Victor Chestnutt

Victor Chestnutt

Fly-tipping has spiralled out of control with action needed to protect Northern Ireland's countryside, it has been warned.

The closure of recycling centres due to the coronavirus crisis has seen a rise in incidents.

It includes cases of rotting animals and worn tyres being left by the roadside.

In Clady, Co Armagh, a calf carcass was discarded along a country road this week. A fridge freezer, construction waste and bags of household waste were also dumped. Separate incidents have been reported in counties Antrim and Fermanagh.

Council enforcement officers are empowered to issue a £75 fixed penalty fine to anyone found littering.

In more serious incidents the matter can be brought before the magistrates' court and, upon conviction, fines of up to £2,500 can be imposed.

Victor Chestnutt, the deputy president of the Ulster Farmers' Union (UFU), said fly-tipping had greatly increased in recent days.

"Fly-tipping has become the scourge of the countryside," he said.

"It's dangerous to human health and is harmful to livestock and wildlife.

"There have been issues in the past where fly-tipping waste polluted watercourses and contaminated land.

"It is disappointing that some individuals think it's acceptable to leave their waste including scrap timber, worn tyres and in some cases the carcasses of dead and rotting animals, for others to dispose of."

Mr Chestnutt said removing fly-tipping waste is costly and time consuming for farmers and other landowners.

"Once unwanted content is dumped on their land it becomes the responsibility of the landowner to dispose of this waste with local councils left to take ownership of waste on public land and highways. It's not acceptable and it can't continue."

Mr Chestnutt said deceased animals should be disposed of through the National Fallen Stock Scheme.

"I encourage all farmers to register to become a member of the National Fallen Stock Scheme and make use of its services.

"Householders should ensure they make use of authorised waste disposal operators if their waste level exceeds the limits of domestic waste collection services.

"No one wants to deal with anyone else's mess so please do your bit to dispose of your waste correctly," the UFU deputy president added.

Belfast Telegraph