9 August 2002

Burning issue at event

LEGISLATION prohibiting the burial of farm animals, including sheep, is expected to be adopted in October and apply six to seven months later, according to DEFRA. As a result, incinerators proved a hot topic for producers attending Sheep 2002.

Alan Rodgers, of Waste Spectrum Incinerators, took more than 100 producer enquiries at the event. For large farms, investing in an incinerator could be more economic than paying for a collection and disposal service, he said. Incinerators typically cost between £5500-£8000.

"For flocks with at least 800 ewes, it will be more viable than collection and disposal. Disposing of a ewe carcass by incineration costs 75p, compared with £11-£20 for collection."

However, for smaller flocks collection and disposal is likely to be a cheaper option. An alternative would be for a group of producers to share the cost of an incinerator, he said. "Incinerators can be made mobile. They are sterile once carcasses have been burned and wheels can be disinfected between farms."He calculates that a typical on-farm incinerator will dispose of up to eight ewes/day in two seven-hour burns. "Incinerators run on red diesel or gas and use about five litres of fuel/hour." &#42

No planning permission is required for incinerators, provided their burn rate is less than 50kg/hour, said Mr Rodgers. "Our incinerators fall into this category. At this burn rate, you would also be exempt from emissions control legislation."