Re Composting Consultation on your website - see advance extract
from this weekend's Smallholders Online newsletter.
regulations make it effectively impossible to both garden and keep a
So although we would never feed a pig with
meat scraps, taken at face value, this new restriction makes it impossible to
keep a pet pig and a garden. We have to choose between my wife's hobby and
mine. We were just on the point of bringing in a new in-pig sow Someone
tells me just ignore them. Hardly, I'm already targeted by the famous trio of
Scudamore, Alick Simmons and Helen Duncan for shopping them over the blood
test faking and intimidation. They are obviously out to "get" us, for daring
to expose the criminal activities of the State Veterinary Service.
can't stand watching them abuse harmless tame pet animals again.
Regarding composting and pet pigs - don't panic (yet). I have
also been studying the consultation documents, even though we all know what
DEFRA consultation exercises are - a complete sham, the decisions have
already been taken. The wording seems to be saying that catering waste may
not be composted, and that catering waste includes domestic kitchen
waste. Well, it has long been the case that kitchen waste must not be fed
to pigs. Now, you must not put it on the compost heap either.
That's all. Green waste from the garden, or anywhere else, that has not
been through the kitchen is exempt. So it isn't too onerous. I
have e-mailed DEFRA to check this out and ensure that my interpretation is
correct (I've been wrong before), but on the face of it, just prepare your
vegetables in an outhouse or separate room from the kitchen, away from any
possible contact with meat, and you are in the clear. Even you, in your
situation. I've attached a summary of the key paragraphs for
7. The proposal applies to catering waste from
premises handling meat or products of animal origin. Catering waste
from premises on which meat or products of animal origin are not handled may
already be treated in composting or biogas plants, and is not affected by
this proposal. Green waste is not affected by the proposal. Domestic
householders wishing to compost their own kitchen scraps on their own compost
heap are exempt from the rules, provided that they do not keep pigs,
ruminants or poultry on the premises (see paragraph 9 below). However, the
disposal of meat scraps in garden compost heaps is not recommended. Doing so
can increase the risk of spreading disease via scavenging wildlife
9. Veterinary advice, supported by the risk assessment, is
that composting of catering waste containing meat should not be done on
premises on which ruminants or pigs are kept. On premises where poultry are
kept, composting should be done in a closed container or composting
10. This means that no farmer who keeps ruminants or pigs could
diversify into commercial composting of animal by-products or catering
11. These restrictions also apply to domestic householders who keep
ruminants, pigs or poultry. If you keep a pet pig or any pet ruminant, you
must not compost catering waste on your premises. This includes food waste from
your own kitchen. If you keep poultry, you may compost your own kitchen
waste, provided that you do so in a closed container.
14. Under the EU
Regulation, the definition of catering waste will be 'all waste food originating
in restaurants, catering facilities and kitchens, including central
kitchens and household kitchens'.
2. What exactly is catering waste? Catering
waste means waste food originating in restaurants, catering facilities and
kitchens. This includes domestic household kitchens. It also includes
waste from the production of food products in food factories. The proposed
Amendment applies to catering waste which contains meat or products of
animal origin, or which comes from premises which handle meat or products of
animal origin. Catering waste which does not contain meat or products of animal
origin, and which does not come from a premises handling meat (such as waste
from a dedicated fruit and vegetable shop) is not controlled by
5. Can I compost animal by-products under this
The amended Order will allow you to compost catering waste. But
you will not be able to compost animal by-products prior to the introduction
of the new EU Regulation in spring 2003. Once the EU Regulation comes into
force, you will be permitted to treat low-risk (so-called category 3) animal
by-products in an approved composting or biogas plant. Animal by-products
will need to be treated to the EU standard set out in the Regulation, which is
treatment at 700C for 1 hour, with a maximum particle size of 12mm. Please
note that animals that die on-farm are not low-risk material and cannot
9. Is there a disease risk? It is believed that last
year's foot-and-mouth outbreak, and the Classical swine fever outbreak in 2001,
were caused by contaminated catering waste. This is why we need to ensure
that premises wishing to use catering waste in composting or biogas treatment
do so safely
10. Do I need an approval?
Yes. All composting and biogas
plants treating catering waste containing meat or originating from premises
handling meat must be approved by Defra. However, this does not apply to
domestic householders composting their own kitchen waste on their own compost
heap. Domestic householders will not be affected by the new rules, unless they
keep livestock (see below).
15. Can I still compost at
Yes, provided you do not keep pigs or ruminants on the premises. If you
are only composting your own kitchen scraps on your own compost heap, you are
not affected by the rules. If you keep poultry, you may compost your kitchen
scraps at home, but you must do so in an enclosed container.
16. What if I
keep pigs or ruminants, can I still compost?
No. Contaminated catering waste
is thought to have been the cause both of the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in
2001, and the Classical swine fever outbreak in 2000. It is very important
that livestock susceptible to diseases that can be transmitted through
infected meat are kept away from catering waste. If you keep ruminants or pigs,
even as pets, you must not compost on the premises. This includes
composting your own kitchen scraps.
17. I'm not a farmer, I just have a pet
pig. Can I compost?
No. Pet animals are just as susceptible to diseases as
farmed animals, and must not be allowed access to catering waste. If you
keep a pet pig or any pet ruminant you must not compost on the premises. This
does not of course prevent you from sending your kitchen waste for composting
on an approved site elsewhere. If you keep poultry and you wish to compost
at home, you must do so in an enclosed container.
Comments are requested by Wednesday 12 February 2003 at the latest to Jon Rouse,
Area 305, 1A Page Street,
London, SW1P 4PQ or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The final date for comment is 12 weeks from the date of this letter.
All comments are welcome, but views are particularly sought on the issues of
permitting housed windrows, and banning composting on premises where pigs
or ruminants are present.
From Alan to DEFRA:
Sent: 30 November
Subject: CONSULTATION ON THE TREATMENT OF CATERING
WASTE CONTAINING MEAT
With reference to these specific proposals, I have
studied the documents published on your website and find some of the wording
contradictory and unclear with respect to composting on premises where small
numbers of ruminants and pigs are also present. Some readers have
concluded that it will be illegal under these proposals to make any form of
compost on domestic premises or smallholdings where farm livestock are
kept. However, another equally valid interpretation is
that only kitchen scraps must not be composted, and that all other green
waste (from the garden etc.) can continue to be composted, provided that
such waste has not passed through the kitchen. Will you please clarify this
issue as a matter of urgency, as it is central to the response of the many
thousands of people who keep livestock on a small
From: Rouse, Jonathan (BSE)
Sent: 02 December 2002 15:46
'alan & rosie beat'
With respect to your query about composting on
premises where livestock are kept:
Garden waste can continue to be
composted as before and is not affected by the proposal. You may still
compost green waste if you keep livestock. However kitchen scraps cannot be
composted if ruminants or pigs are kept on the premises, or such scraps must
be composted in a closed container if poultry are kept.
I hope this helps
clarify the proposals.