Disposal of fallen stock

Animal By-products logo - link to home page

Last updated: 29 October 2002

At present the Animal By-Products Order 1999 requires that animal carcases are disposed of by one of the methods specified in the Order, including rendering, incineration, dispatch to knackers yards or in very limited circumstances burial or burning.

New EU legislation, the Animal By-Products Regulation, will ban the routine burial of animal carcases when it applies in Member States from 30 April 2003. The only exceptions from the ban would be for remote areas (parts of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland) and during outbreaks of notifiable disease if there is a lack of capacity at rendering plants and incinerators or if transport of the carcases would spread disease. The Regulation will also strengthen the animal and public health controls with regard to on-farm animal carcase incinerators.

We are aware that the Regulation will increase the difficulties, both practical and financial, that the livestock industry faces in disposing of its fallen stock and have, since April 2002, been holding discussions with livestock and disposal industry stakeholders with the aim of developing operational arrangements and funding options for a national fallen stock disposal scheme.

At a stakeholder meeting on the 18 September the United Kingdom Renderers Association (UKRA) and the Licensed Animal Slaughterers and Salvage Association (LASSA) presented a joint proposal for a National Fallen Stock collection and disposal scheme. The proposed scheme would make use of rendering plants as the main disposal route, but would not prevent the use of alternative disposal routes, provided they are permitted by and operated in accordance with the relevant legislation. The stakeholders agreed in principle to the industry proposal, which is now being considered by Ministers.

Fallen Stock Q & A

http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/by-prods/fallen/fallenqa.htm

 

Q&A on the disposal of fallen stock

Animal By-products logo - link to home page

Last updated: 13 November 2002

[back]

Q1 Which legislation governs the disposal of animal by-products, including fallen stock?

The primary control over the disposal of animal by-products, including fallen stock, is the Animal By-Products Order 1999. It permits a number of disposal routes for animal carcases. These include rendering, incineration, sending the carcases to a knacker or hunt kennel, or, in restricted circumstances only, burial or on-farm burning.

Q2 What are the usual routes for the disposal for fallen stock?

Farmers may send their fallen stock to a knacker or hunt kennel, or, in very limited circumstances (see below), bury or burn the animal on-farm.

Q3 What restrictions are placed on burial and burning?

On-farm burial or burning is only permitted under the Animal By-Products Order 1999 in certain circumstances. Before burying or burning fallen stock, farmers are advised to check with their Local Authority (the enforcement agency) that burial or burning is permitted. If farmers or local authorities have any doubts about the suitability of a burial site, or if farmers intend to bury significant quantities of carcases, they should consult the Environment Agency or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. If the Animal By-Products Order permits burial, then the burial must be done in such a way that carnivorous animals cannot gain access to it and it does not contaminate the environment or pose a disease risk. The Groundwater Regulations may further restrict burial in some cases.

Future controls:

Q4 Are new restrictions on on-farm burial or burning to be introduced?

Yes. New EU legislation, the Animal By-Products Regulation, will ban the routine on-farm burial and burning of animal carcases when it applies in Member States from 30 April 2003. The only exceptions from the ban would be for remote areas (parts of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland) and during outbreaks of notifiable disease if there were a lack of capacity at rendering plants and incinerators or if transport of the carcases would spread disease.

Q5 What action is the Government taking?

We are aware that the Regulation will increase the difficulties, both practical and financial, that the livestock industry faces in disposing of its fallen stock. Since April 2002, officials have been holding discussions with livestock and disposal industry stakeholders with the aim of developing operational arrangements and funding options for a national fallen stock disposal scheme.

Proposed disposal routes:

Q6 What has been proposed?

At a stakeholder meeting on the 18 September the United Kingdom Renderers Association (UKRA) and the Licensed Animal Slaughterers and Salvage Association (LASSA) presented a joint proposal for a National Fallen Stock collection and disposal scheme. The stakeholders agreed in principle to the industry proposal, which is now being considered by Ministers.

Q7 What disposal routes would the proposed scheme use?

The proposed scheme would make use of rendering plants as the main disposal route, but would not prevent the use of alternative disposal routes (e.g. on-farm incineration), provided they are permitted by and operated in accordance with the relevant legislation.

Q8 Would the proposed scheme be compulsory?

No. It would not be compulsory to use the service where legitimate and adequate alternative arrangements are already in place

Q9 Is Bio-security a concern?

Yes. It will be addressed in developing the scheme.

Q10 Traceability and Audit Controls?

It is important that carcase movements are fully traceable and that the proposed scheme is clearly auditable. Record keeping will, therefore, be an important part of the scheme.

Q11 Who should pay?

We are working with representatives of the disposal and farming industries over future arrangements for the disposal of fallen stock. However, it is for the livestock industry, like other industries, to work out how best to deal with its waste problems and to pay the associated costs.

Incineration:

Q12 Will the Waste Incineration Directive mean greater restrictions on carcase incineration?

No. As a result of the UK’s efforts the Waste Incineration Directive will specifically exclude animal carcase incinerators from its scope. Appropriate controls are included in the new Animal By-Products Regulation instead.