Bio-reduction as a method of on-farm containment prior to disposal of fallen stock

The EU Animal By-Products Regulation which controls the disposal of fallen stock has raised concern within the livestock industry on both economic and environmental grounds. Bio-reduction has been proposed as an alternative method for storing (and potentially disposing of) fallen stock but there is currently a lack of scientific evidence to support its use. Before an alternative disposal method can be introduced the EU requires satisfactory information on the following criteria;

  • The identification and characterisation of the risk materials to be disposed of
  • The TSE risk reduction by the particular process
  • The degree of risk containment
  • The identification of interdependent processes e.g installation
    procedure, the need to add water, heat requirement and disposal of the end product
  • The intended end-use of the product.

HCC and the Welsh Government have funded a project at Bangor University to evaluate the efficacy and environmental compliance of in-vessel bio-reduction as a fallen stock containment/on-farm storage system for farmers prior to incineration. The system was also evaluated as a novel method of disposal for fallen stock. The main criteria for assessing the success of the system are;

  • That it provides a secure method of on-farm storage for fallen stock prior to disposal via an approved operator.
  • That it provides a degree of treatment without increasing any biological or chemical risk, i.e. pathogen loads are reduced, harmful gases are not expelled and the final product is non-hazardous and therefore suitable for bio-secure removal and treatment/disposal.

A full report on the first Phase of this project can be viewed here. Following the success of this project the results were presented to the EU and representatives from the Welsh Government secured a compromise on the regulations regarding fallen stock which allows on farm containment prior to disposal.

Phase 2 of the project has now been completed and adds further validity to the use of bio-reducers as a method of on-farm containment.

To view the final report, click here

The evidence from these projects has been submitted to the EU and the industry now awaits a decision on whether bio-reducers can be used as an on-farm method of containment of fallen stock.