The Government’s Clean Air Strategy could end up costing East Devon farmers thousands of pounds.
Proposals have been announced to regulate the industry to reduce ammonia emissions. This means farmers could one day be forced to adopt low emission techniques.
New regulations could also be imposed to minimise pollution from fertiliser use. Levels of ammonia in the air were highlighted nationally earlier this month. Experts claim thousands of lives could be saved in the UK every year – if more was done to stop potentially dangerous particles from being breathed in.
Farmers could be required to cover slurry pits, which some say could cost tens of thousands of pounds.
Speaking to Channel 4 news, Professor Alastair Lewis, of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, said ammonia levels have not declined over the past quarter of a century.
He said finding a resolution would be complex.
The Max Planck Institute in Germany said a reduction of 50 per cent would save 52,000 lives across Europe annually.
Published in January, the Clean Air Strategy sets out a 25-year environment plan with a focus on industry.
It was revealed that environmental permitting would be extended to dairy and intensive beef farming.
The strategy states: “We will require and support farmers to make investments in the farm infrastructure and equipment that will reduce emissions.
“A future environmental land management system will fund targeted action to protect habitats impacted by ammonia.”
It is further stated that the government will “continue to work with the agriculture sector to ensure the ammonia inventory reflects existing farming practice and the latest evidence on emissions”.