8 Jul 2013

Cooks to get on top of foul farm smell

5:34 am on 8 July 2013

Cook Island public health officials are to conduct regular visits to a poultry farm at Muri, on Rarotonga, to ensure a foul smell is no longer emitted from the property.

A recent tourist complaint has prompted the action, though the smell from the farm has been an on-going problem for both tourists and residents over the years.

The chief executive of the Cook Islands Tourism Marketing Corporation, Halatoa Fua, says legislation is being reviewed so that laws can deal with the stench in the future.

He says the Environment Act covers land and water pollution, but not necessarily air pollution.

Mr Fua says wet manure on the farm is the cause of the odour, and public health officials are regularly checking the farm to ensure the manure is dry, and excess manure is cleared.

"To take note of what the farm has done, so they've changed the type of chicken they're breeding to be the type that will produce a more dry manure, and they've also changed their water system, so there has been some work done from the property."

Halatoa Fua says farming guidelines is very high on the agenda for the legislation review, and it's possible that fines could be considered for non-compliance.