Pig producers in the UK are being urged by the British Pig Executive to start making plans as soon as possible in order to meet a change in national regulations on the storage of liquid manure (slurry) that goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2012.

Beginning then, all pig units located in Nitrate Vulnerable Zones — areas of land where drainage enters waters containing nitrates from agriculture — must have sufficient capacity to store slurry securely for at least six months. The official Environment Agency can visit farms before the deadline in order to check they are taking active steps towards putting storage in place and that they have already completed satisfactory slurry storage calculations. Where breaches occur later due to lack of storage, the agency may apply for civil or criminal sanctions against the unit’s operator.