Farmers in England and Wales are calling for a quick decision on what they are meant to do if an animal dies on their farm, in the light of the foot-and-mouth shutdown.

The GB-wide ban on livestock movements applies to dead animals as well as live, so normal collections of fallen stock have been suspended by knackermen and hunts.

Producers in Scotland have been given a derogation that allows them to bury any carcasses. But elsewhere producers have been left with the problem of decomposing animals on their farms and no idea of what they are meant to do with them.

Farmers Weekly has been contacted by several producers anxious about the issue. “We have a bin of dead sheep rotting in the heat and there is nothing legal we can do about it,” said one.

“It is highly unpleasant and surely a risk to public health since there will soon be one just like it on every farm in the country.”

At present the official advice is that farmers should contact their local Animal Health Office to ask for advice.

But Farmers Weekly has learned that interim arrangements may be announced tomorrow morning.

For all the latest on foot and mouth see the FWi Special report.

.