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Farm effluent blamed for major Co Armagh fish kill

Environment Agency officials have said a fish kill in Bessbrook, Co Armagh, yesterday (Wednesday) was of “high severity”.

It is understood that 60 dead fish of a number of different species were found in the afternoon.

A spokesperson told the News Letter: “An NIEA Water Quality Inspector immediately visited the area to investigate the report and determine the environmental impact. The Inspector confirmed that the river was severely impacted with farm effluent, and his investigation identified the source of the pollution and ensured that it was immediately stopped.

“Further investigation revealed a fish kill had occurred. Statutory samples have been collected with a view to pursuing appropriate enforcement action, once the investigation is complete.

“An initial count by Loughs Agency Officers revealed approximately 60 dead fish of a variety of species. Poor visibility in the water is hindering an accurate count; however the number of fatalities is expected to rise as the water clears.”

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has voiced his concern and said he will be closely monitoring developments.

Picture for illustration purposes only

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