Our farming clients tell us that they love what they do.  There’s nothing like being a dairy farmer – it’s hard work, but they couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

Times have changed over the years.  As a dairy farmer, you are now expected to be an expert in all manner of things, including the law when it comes to running the farm.

Flyovers by Regional Councils are resulting in more investigations, more abatement notices and more prosecutions.

A common problem is sufficient effluent disposal systems.  If your effluent disposal system is not sufficient, or poorly maintained, it can be costly.  Not just for repairs and upgrades to the system itself, but for the level of fines that can be imposed in the Environment Court.

Any unlawful effluent disposal, even if accidental, can result in convictions and hefty fines.  A charge of unlawfully discharging effluent where there is a chance it can enter water (even if it hasn’t entered any water) has a maximum fine of $600,000 for a company and $300,000 for an individual.  If you run your farm through a company, you could potentially face two charges – one for you and one for the company.

Prevention is better than cure.  Be aware that Councils are going to be more active in the investigation and enforcement of farms and their practices.  Ensure that your systems are able to cope when you are most under pressure, such as during calving. 

Here at Gold Legal, we have the experience and the knowledge to be able to assist you through the enforcement, investigation and/or prosecution process.  We have experienced lawyers and staff (some with farming backgrounds themselves) who are more than happy to help.

So, if you are being investigated, or you’re facing a prosecution, don’t panic.  Give us a call.  We can help you.