Poor or improperly managed animal waste is polluting our air and waterways.
The use and storage of such large concentrations of muck is becoming a problem. Leakages from cesspools and manure spray fields are contaminating our waterways.
As Natural England, a public body responsible to the UK Secretary of State for Environment, acknowledge:
The single biggest threat of water pollution is from agriculture. [i]
Thousands of miles of waterways worldwide are polluted each year. These are just a few of the headlines reporting the issue:
- Bessbrook fish kill blamed on farm waste pollution – BBC News Northern Ireland (2014)
- Farming practices and climate change at the root of Toledo water pollution – The Guardian (2014)
- Deadly algae are everywhere, thanks to agriculture – Scientific American (2014)
- Intersex fish found in Pennsylvania rivers spur search for chemicals – Los Angeles Times (2014)
The nitrogen and phosphorous waste contaminating our water is creating what The World Resources Institute describe as ‘dead zones’ – places where few species can survive.
They have identified 169 marine areas as “dead zones” as of 2008. This has increased from 44 areas in 1995. [ii]
[i] Natural England, http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/farming/csf/cgs/default.aspx (Assessed 14 August 2014)
[ii] World Resources Institute, 2008. ‘Eutrophication and hypoxia in coastal areas: a global assessment of the state of knowledge’. http://pdf.wri.org/eutrophication_and_hypoxia_in_coastal_areas.pdf (Assessed 14 August 2014)