Legal proceedings have been launched against a major food processor in Britain over phosphorus pollution of the River Wye in Herefordshire and the Welsh borders.

Avara Foods operates a large scale poultry business supplying UK supermarkets with a network of rearing and finishing farms in south west Britain.

The legal action has been instigated by law firm Leigh Day, which is seeking a “multi-million pound compensation order” for residents in the river’s 4,000km2 catchment area.

High court ruling

Leigh Day was the legal firm employed by environmental groups Wild Justice and the NI Badger Group in their successful high court ruling to halt DAERA’s planned badger cull.

The law firm states Avara has 23m birds housed on intensive units in the region, which it claims is the cause of river pollution.

In response, Avara Foods said that all manure produced on poultry units is now removed and used elsewhere in Britain. Avara states “it is confident there is no case to defend.”