In the 1980s and 1990s, public concern rose regarding the negative environmental impact of intensive farming practices. Increased awareness of air pollution as well as ground and surface water pollution due to intensive livestock activities stimulated public intervention. This resulted in a series of environmental regulations like the Nitrate Directive, the Water Framework and the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive. Their objective is to internalize negative externalities into the farm balance. The legislation creates extra costs for farmers who must comply with this legislation, but it generates an agriculture with high level standards of animal welfare, food safety and environment which meets the expectations of consumers and citizens in the EU Member States and in Third Countries.
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