One of the UK’s largest egg producers, LJ Fairburn, has been ordered to pay £65,000 (€82,000) for a number of licensing breaches at five farms in Lincolnshire, including two in Burgh le Marsh and one in Bilsby, the Skegness Standard reports.
Fairburn ran five sites across Lincolnshire with more than 40,000 birds each over varying times between February 1, 2007 and February 17 this year without being authorised by an environmental permit.
At one time, a Fairburn poultry unit housed four times the number of birds permitted: 186,810 in total .
In the UK permits are required for any unit with more than 40,000 places.
Mrs Anne-Lise McDonald, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, explained that a poultry permit is granted subject to a number of conditions to protect the environment and local communities from the effects of ammonia and methane emissions; particulates that can affect human health; and slurries, wash waters, fuels and chemicals with the potential to pollute.
She said that L J Fairburn failed to apply for permits in 2010 even when the company found out that they were required.
Mrs McDonald said the company had also avoided annual subsistence fees of over £50,000 (€63,000).
The firm was fined £5,000 (€6,300) for each offence.