Poultry farm licensing
The SA Government, as part of the 2019–20 State Budget, announced the addition of poultry farms to the list of activities of environmental significance (Schedule 1 Part A of the Environment Protection Act 1993) that require authorisation (licensing) by the EPA.
Since the introduction of the Environment Protection Act 1993 (EP Act), there has been a substantial increase in the SA poultry industry and in the size of individual operations. Potential environmental impacts from poultry farms may be associated with odour, waste, wastewater or contaminated stormwater run-off, and noise pollution. By licensing this activity, the EPA will be able to set conditions for the effective management of environmental impacts from poultry farms and recover the cost of its regulatory effort.
Clause 5(5) Poultry Farms – broiler
the conduct of a broiler farm, being premises for the growing of poultry meat where the total area of the sheds or structures used to keep the poultry is 13 500 square metres or more.
In this subclause–
poultry means chicken, turkey, guinea fowl, duck, geese, pheasants, quail, squab (pigeons), muttonbirds or other avian species but does not include ratites.
Poultry farms that meet the threshold below must hold an EPA licence from 1 April 2021.
In 2019 and 2020, the EPA engaged with the Poultry Farm Reference Group comprising the Australian Chicken Growers Council, the Australian Chicken Meat Federation, Ingham Enterprises, Baiada Group and Gourmet Poultry on the structure of the licence fee system and setting licence conditions, as well as PIRSA regarding biosecurity considerations.
Following consultation, the EPA has determined that most poultry farm licences will consist of standard licence conditions that are already implemented across other animal agriculture industries. The EPA wrote to poultry farms to advise of the new licensing requirements.
Why did I receive a notice in relation to a poultry farm licence?
The notice is to advise you of the requirement for you to obtain an EPA licence to operate a poultry farm from 1 April 2021.
When must my poultry farm be licensed?
All poultry farms where the total area of the sheds or structures used to keep the poultry is 13,500 m2 or more will require an EPA licence from 1 April 2021.The EPA is updating internal systems to allow for applications to be made online. Operators will be invited to apply and the website will be updated when applications are open.
How do I lodge an application to have my poultry farm licensed?
Licence applications will soon open and be able to be made online.
- for Bodies Corporate, an ASIC Company Extract is required as part of the application; and
- include Certificate(s) of Title details (eg CT 5123/456) where available, to assist in correctly identifying the premises.
Do I need to pay any fees?
The relevant fee units used to determine fees are outlined below, and an approximation of the annual licence fee is provided:
Total area of the sheds or structures used to keep the poultry is 13,500 m2 or more but less than 27,000 m2
Total area of the sheds or structures used to keep the poultry is 27,000 m2 or more but less than 54,000 m2
Total area of the sheds or structures used to keep the poultry is 54,000 m2 or more
Why do some facilities (ie where the total area of the sheds or structures used to keep the poultry is less than 13,500 m2) not require a licence?
The EPA utilises a risk-based approach to compliance with environmental obligations. As facilities become larger environmental management becomes more complex, and there is an increased potential for environmental impacts to be caused. Smaller unlicensed facilities still have environmental obligations and a general environmental duty to take all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent and minimise environmental harm. All facilities, whether licensed or not, may still be subject to regulatory action by the EPA where environmental harm is caused or threatened.
How long will my licence last?
A poultry farm licence will be issued for a period of 5 years, after which the licence may be renewed. This is a standard practice for most licences.
What conditions will be on my licence?
In most circumstances, standard licence conditions will apply to poultry farms. These have been reviewed by the Poultry Farms Reference Group. Read a sample licence (currenly not available.
What if I have more than one poultry farm?
All poultry (broiler) farms that are accredited under the Primary Produce (Food Safety Schemes) (Meat) Regulations 2017 have a unique identification number called a ‘Food Safety Accreditation Number’ (FSAN). For those poultry (broiler) farms with 1 FSAN, an EPA licence will be required. For those with multiple FSANs, multiple EPA licenses will be required.
Will the EPA inspect my premises?
The EPA utilises a risk-based approach to compliance with environmental obligations. Licensed sites are subjected to routine inspections that may occur once every 5 years, or more regularly in response to incidents, or due to changes to the nature of environmental emissions from the licensed premises or overall environmental performance of the site.
The EPA may also inspect unlicensed premises.
Will there be a public notification requirement as part of the licensing process?
Public notice is not required to be given under Part 6 of the EP Act in respect of an application for the grant of a licence for a poultry farm if the applicant is an accredited poultry grower under the Primary Produce (Food Safety Schemes) (Meat) Regulations 2017 by 1 April 2021.
Is development approval required?
Development approval is generally required to process an EPA licence application. However as a transitional provision for the licensing of poultry farms, the EPA will generally grant a licence despite the development status of a site if the applicant is an accredited poultry grower under the Primary Produce (Food Safety Schemes) (Meat) Regulations 2017 by 1 April 2021.
Who can I contact for further information?
Please get in touch with the EPA on 8204 2004 or 1800 632 445 (country callers only), or by email.