Scotland prepares deadstock scheme
By Allan Wright
A DETAILED report on the numbers involved and the cost of running a disposal scheme for deadstock from Scottish farms will be presented to Government by the Scottish NFU soon.
Further talks between the two are being arranged following a meeting last week, which also included the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and the rendering trade.
“In this day and age, burying dead animals, especially cattle, on farms is not an option,” said union vice-president Jim Walker. He was hopeful that a collection service to deliver dead animals to Scotlands only rendering plant near Hamilton could be arranged.
“I am encouraged by the fact that Government is prepared to have further discussion on the issue, and we will prepare a case detailing the size of the problem and the projected cost of running a disposal scheme,” Mr Walker said.
He was confident that guidelines on the safe burial of deadstock on farms were being followed, but was also sure that the public perception of such practice did not show farming in a favourable light.
Before legislation demanded the removal and destruction of specified risk materials, farmers were charged £15 by knackers for uplifting dead cattle, the sort of figure which, Mr Walker thought, farmers would still pay.
However, the closure of knackeries – only four remain in Scotland – and the cost of meeting new legislation meant the charge would be much higher. That was why Government help was being sought.
Mr Walker said the problem was particularly acute in Scotland because there was not the same demand for carcasses from hunt kennels as existed in England.