O'Kane Poultry, a vertically-integrated chicken and turkey production company based in Northern Ireland, was fined a total of £1,000 (US$1,604. 21) plus court costs for making polluting discharges to a waterway. The company was fined for £500 (US$802.09) for each of two offenses at Ballymena Magistrates' Court on September 24.
On March 23, 2012, a report of a pollution incident at a Ballymena poultry farm, owned and operated by O'Kane Poultry, was made to the Northern Ireland Environment Agency via the pollution hotline by a member of the public. Upon investigation, an officer from the agency observed poultry farm waste impacting on the Burn Gushet River. The source of the polluting discharge was traced to the reported poultry farm.
On November 28, 2012, the agency received another report of a pollution incident from a member of the public via the pollution hotline. The reported act was traced to a chicken and turkey slaughtering and rendering facility, also in Ballymena and owned and operated by O'Kane Poultry. During an investigation, localized chicken waste contamination was found on the bed of Deerfin Burn. The source of the polluting discharge was traced to an O'Kane Poultry chicken and turkey slaughtering and rendering facility in Ballymena.
"The circumstances around the cause of each of the incidents were beyond the knowledge of the company, and therefore not in any way a deliberate or negligent act on the part of the company or its employees," a company spokesman said. "As soon as we became aware of these matters, we immediately implemented corrective actions. O'Kane Poultry takes its environmental obligations very seriously and has no record of any previous prosecutions by the Environment Agency."
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