A FIRM has been fined £12,000 after more than 6000 litres of whisky were spilled into a river.

Glen Catrine Bonded Warehouse Limited, which is based in Catrine, pled guilty to breaching water environment regulations when the alcoholic drink was pumped into the wrong vat and there was a mistake in selecting the valves which control the transfer of the spirit from the tanker to the vat.

It caused an overspill, with the liquid then spraying around the tank and into the River Ayr which bounds the warehouse site on three sides.

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Neither the duty manager nor the operator had seen company procedures for cleaning up spills and they had not been given any formal training on the issue. The company was fined at Ayr Sheriff Court yesterday.

Sara Shaw, Procurator Fiscal for Wildlife and Environment, said: "The risk of pollution of the river should have been one of the considerations at the forefront of the company's policies.

"Due to the absence of a number of appropriate systems and staff training, there was always the risk of accident or an overfill incident if an error was made.

"Improvements have been made at the site designed to prevent similar incidents happening in the future, albeit, too late, as shown by the pollution of the River Ayr in 2011."