Reply to "Fallen Stck" Petition from the Governmenthttp://www.pm.gov.uk/output/Page12271.asp
"We are aware that many farmers have buried stock on their farms for years, and have expressed concern about the justification for this ban. The rules in the Animal By Products Regulation (Regulation (EC) No. 1774/2002), regarding the disposal of fallen stock, have been influenced by a number of scientific opinions which take into account factors such as the potential for polluting water courses and the lack of scientific information available on how persistent the prions that cause diseases such as BSE and scrapie are in soil.
The main exceptions from the ban are areas where the livestock population is so small, and where disposal facilities are so far away, that the arrangements for collection and transport would be unacceptably onerous compared to local disposal. The only areas fitting these criteria in the UK are parts of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, the Scilly Isles and Lundy Island in England, and Bardsey Island and Caldy Island in Wales. Exceptions also apply during outbreaks of notifiable disease, if there was a lack of capacity at rendering plants and incinerators, or if transport of the carcases would spread disease.
The Animal By-Products Regulation is in place to protect public and animal health, and by implication is not primarily an environmental measure. Incineration and rendering provide a safe and controlled way of dealing with the disposal of animal carcasses. There are various animal health and environmental controls that incinerator operators must follow when disposing of fallen stock. These can be found on the Defra website (new window)."
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