Producers seek help to cut carcase disposal costs

by 5m Editor
6 May 2004, at 12:00am

UK - A little-known (until now) group of pig producers is planning to investigate innovative ways of complying with the livestock burial ban. The 14-strong "Wednesday Group" in East Anglia has won funding to carry out two projects and can therefore afford to pay for specialist help.

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NPA is active on members' behalf in Brussels & Whitehall, and with processors, supermarkets & caterers – fighting for the growth and pros-perity of the UK pig industry.

It wants to research ways of reducing members' carcase disposal costs, perhaps by having a central incinerator in the locality, offering a commercial service as a pet crematorium during the day, and being used for dead pigs at night.

Currently most members of the group use a small-drops collection service and are interested in ways of reducing the cost of around 3140 a tonne.

Project number two, which will strike a chord with all East Anglia outdoor producers, is to look at spread of disease from unit to unit by birds, particularly crows and seagulls.

"We need to ascertain the size of this problem," said producer Jon Green (pictured), of Dickleburgh, near Diss, Norfolk. "Foot and mouth, classical swine fever and swine dysentery are obvious areas of concern and we must also remember how quickly PMWS was able to spread from unit to unit."

Producers frequently observe crows flying from one unit to the next and so on, in search of food. The problem tends to be less in heavily game-keepered areas. In an attempt to break the circle one producer uses his mechanical feed-spreader under cover of darkness.

If more is known about the modus operandi of the raiding birds, it may be possible to find new ways to deter them.

As a first step, the Wednesday Group envisages a desk-survey of existing research. There may be sufficient information out there which, if pulled together and made specifically applicable to pig production, would give producers some of the answers they need.

Do you have the skills to assist the Wednesday Group with either of these projects, as a professional proposition? If so please get in touch with Jon Green (01379) 741705. The Wednesday Group was born out of one of East Anglia's PMWS working groups. "We tend to keep a low profile," said Jon. (Until now Jon, until now.)

Source: National Pig Association - 6th May 2004

5m Editor