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Email received Jan 6 2007

Email received Jan 6 2007

Dear Mary

I have been mounting a campaign to highlight the risks of poorly regulated meat composting in the UK and have been focusing on such an operation in the middle of a cattle farm in Yorkshire.

I have been using requests under the FOI Act. DEFRA is happy that this farmer uses the same equipment and staff to operate the meat composting plant and then move onto feed the cattle, on the assumption that full cleansing and disinfection will take place each time there is a transfer.

DEFRA obviously does not know meaning of ‘Risk Assessment’. If something can happen, it will happen.

The virus, like the terrorist, only has to get lucky once.

I have photos showing cattle adjacent to a heap of the compost and DEFRA is not concerned. I have photos of supposed compost that looks just like feathers. Is DEFRA worried? NO.

I have photos of compost with large bones (max particle size 12mm). Is DEFRA worried? NO.

MEP Neil Parish has persuaded EU Commissioner Kyprianou to investigate during his next veterinary visit to the UK. The NFU says that meat composting does not feature on its radar.

The farmer leaves the doors open on the composting shed and has received warnings from EA and local authority. If doors are left open, cats dogs and crows etc can remove potentially infected meat and transfer to adjacent livestock. The farmer has been warned about leaving waste meat outside of composting shed. Is DEFRA concerned? NO.

A recent VLA report identified that crows had transferred botulism infected meat 200 metres from a heap of chicken muck to a group of 60 cattle. Is DEFRA worried? NO.

I note Fred Landeg telling farmers to increase biosecurity. He should look at what his officers are condoning with regard to meat composting.

PS I hear that Jim Dring is taking the early retirement handshake but I have not had it confirmed.

Best wishes


December 14 2007 ~ Swill feeders - The Ombudsman finds Defra guilty of "maladministration" - but rejects compensation