By FWi staff

MAFF also dealt a death blow to the UK swill feed industry this week with the Ministers announcement that all swill feeding would be banned from 24 May.

This was in spite of a last-minute deputation from swill feeders to MAFF in Whitehall on Wednesday (2 May).

They requested a system of centralised swill treatment plants under MAFF supervision, which would then pass on a treated product to feed 82,000 pigs in the UK still fed in this way.

The swill feeders are also looking at what levels of compensation might be available for those operators who have recently invested heavily in updating their plant to meet recent legislation.

The swill ban will include all catering waste which contains or has been in contact with meat, as well as poultry and fish waste.

This will put the lid on over 74 swill feeders in the UK and will greatly add to the burden of material going in to landfill sites.

The swill feeders claim that, without licensed controls, large quantities of waste will pose a greater risk to health due to fly-tipping and vermin spread from landfill.

MAFF is also coming under pressure in the media for appearing to lay the blame for the initial foot-and-mouth outbreak at the door of the pig industry.

An ITV news feature broadcast on 3 May suggested that the Northumberland pig farm identified by MAFF as the source of the outbreak may not have been the origin of the disease.

The report indicated that sheep in the UK may have been carrying the virus well before 19 February, and that it did not come in via waste fed pigs.

UK pig producers are reported to be considering legal challenges against MAFF as far as both the swill ban and the drop in the welfare scheme pig payments are concerned.

  • Peter Crichton is a Suffolk-based pig farmer offering independent valuation and consultancy services to the UK pig industry

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Foot-and-mouth – confirmed outbreaks
Foot-and-mouth – FWi coverage