1. Animal Husbandry

CPCB to Issue Guidelines for Poultry Farms with Over 5,000 Birds

Ayushi Raina
Ayushi Raina
CPCB to Issue Guidelines for Poultry Farms

The National Green Tribunal has asked the Central Pollution Control Board produce new guidelines for poultry farms with more than 5,000 birds, claiming that their owners cannot be considered small farmers nor their pollution potential left unregulated.

The argument that poultry farms with less than 25,000 birds are maintained by small farmers in the unorganized sector is untenable, according to a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and goes against the precautionary principle of environmental law.

It said regulation of all poultry farms having more than 5,000 birds is necessary.

"To this extent, the CPCB's decision contradicts the decision of this Tribunal and against precautionary principle.” An individual running a poultry farm of more than 5,000 birds cannot be considered a small farmer, nor can their pollution potential left unregulated.

"At best some time can be set aside for phased regulation, as proposed in March 2021 proposed guidelines. As a result, we direct that, while the impugned guidelines are immediately imposed, all poultry farms with more than 5,000 birds will also be covered by the said guidelines latest from January 1, 2023," the bench said in its order dated December 10.

It said that the siting criteria should apply to any future consents or renewals for the above-mentioned size of poultry farms.

The CPCB may issue revised guidelines to all state pollution control boards in terms of the above order within a month, the NGT said.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by environmental activist Gauri Maulekhi against the alleged inadequacy of the regulatory regime through the consent mechanism under the Water and Air Acts to prevent the environmental degradation caused by unregulated poultry farm operations.

The NGT had previously directed the CPCB to revisit the guidelines for classifying poultry farms as a green category industry and exempting them from various laws.

It had also asked the CPCB to issue appropriate orders within three months.

In case no further order is issued, it had said, all state pollution control boards would require enforcement of consent mechanism under the Air, Water and Environment Protection Acts.

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