19 September 1997
Call for ban on slurry spreading

By FW staff

SLURRY spreading on farmland should be reviewed immediately by Government in the light of the growing problem of pathogens such as E coli 0157, according to Prof Hugh Pennington.

Further research into the life-cycle of the organism was essential, said Prof Pennington, director of medical microbiology at Aberdeen University. He said the whole issue of spreading slurry and injecting sewage sludge needed to be addressed properly.

E coli was a versatile pathogen which was traditionally found through faecal contamination of meat, milk, cheese, vegetables, yoghurt and water. Scotland had now overtaken Canada as the worst affected nation, but Japan and the USA have also had large outbreaks in recent years, he said.

His call for research was backed by David Statham, chairman of the European environmental health committee into the problems of E coli 0157. Mr Statham said MAFFs Code of Good Agricultural Practice for Soil which allowed farmyard manure, abattoir waste and sewage sludge to be spread on land, could lead to direct or indirect food contamination.

  • For the full story see this weeks issue of Farmers Weekly, September 19-25, 1997.