7 September 2001

Fallen stock area is facing crisis

DISPOSAL of fallen stock is an essential service for producers, but it is being stretched by foot-and-mouth movement restrictions adding costs to both knacker yards and kennels.

Except for fallen cattle over 24 months, now collected for the BSE survey, fallen stock can be moved under a general licence for disposal, according to DEFRA. This applies to farms without a Form D or A notice, with carcasses normally picked up from the farm gate.

However, DEFRA guidelines mean not transporting carcasses from more than one farm at a time and disinfecting vehicles before entering or leaving a farm.

This increases knacker yards mileage and takes extra time, according to the Licensed Animal Slaughterers and Salvage Association.

"Most do not have the resources or vehicle numbers to cope. An additional problem is declining incomes with most knacker yards 65% down on cattle numbers this summer, due to the BSE survey," it adds.

For smaller animals, such as sheep, it is uneconomic for knacker yards to collect them and this is left to kennels.

Most kennels are still providing a collection service, says the Countryside Alliances Simon Hart. But they are having to operate under the same rules as knackers, yards. &#42

Kennels are also facing extra costs and have seen incomes drop, but assure producers they will carry on with the service, says Mr Hart.