Email received Jan 6 2007
Email received Jan 6 2007
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.
December 14 2007 ~ Swill feeders - The Ombudsman finds Defra guilty of "maladministration" - but rejects compensation
The £40 million swill processing industry was given just 10 days to close down in 2001 after it was alleged FMD spread from swill used on a single pig farm in Heddon-on-the-Wall owned by the Waugh brothers. Bobby Waugh did not process swill. He was only licensed to feed swill to pigs. He broke the rules about feeding - and no evidence of FMD was found at any other farms processing swill.
Boris Johnson told the House of Commons in March 2004
"...the Animal By-Products (Amendment) (England) Order 2001...at the stroke of a bureaucrat's pen in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, there perished in this country a practice that has taken place for thousands of years.... There is the simple moral case: many swill feeders were urged by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to buy very expensive equipment and a few months later that machinery, like their profession, was redundant."The judgement today does seem to defy logic. Food waste that swill processors once handled (1.7 million tonnes per year) now goes to landfill sites. See also Farmers Guardian and warmwell's own pages about the origin of FMD 2001