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Fallen stock scheme update

by 5m Editor
27 October 2004, at 12:00am

UK - Next Monday a letter will be sent to all livestock producers who responded to last year's fallen stock scheme proposals from Defra, inviting them to apply again for membership of the new scheme with a view to collections starting November 22.

National
Pig
Association

National Pig Association
THE VOICE OF THE UK PIG INDUSTRY

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.

When NPA gave support to the original proposals it did so with the expectations that the very attractive initial rates, underpinned by government subsidy, would encourage collectors and producers to establish equipment protocols that would permit safe and efficient mechanical handling of carcases, to minimise disease transfer between farms.

However the administrative difficulties of bringing an effective scheme to fruition has not created a sufficiently attractive environment for business operators to make such investments and, with some notable exceptions, the new scheme will begin without the secure infrastructure that the pig sector would have wished for.

However, as they say, we are where we are and it now behoves us all to recognise the requirement for carcases to be disposed of correctly according to the law. The ingredients of the new scheme can be found on the Defra website

Here are the basic details:

  • Membership will cost 328 per collection point and will ensure access to a list of potential collectors in the producer's area and the cost structure for collection from their particular postcode.

  • Producers will be required to sign a variable direct debit authorising the Fallen Stock Board to collect the appropriate charge, less the agreed 30 percent discount.

  • From November 22, as soon as that variable direct debit is in place, collections may commence under the scheme and the Fallen Stock Board will be responsible for paying the authorised collectors.

  • Charges may be calculated on a headage or weight basis; where no weighing facilities are present on the collector's vehicle an estimated weight may be agreed.

  • The collector will be required to leave a receipt of the collection that should, where possible, be countersigned by the producer.

  • Any dispute over numbers or weight must be taken up with the collector within 72 hours; after that disputes must be directed to the Fallen Stock Board.

  • The rates quoted were lodged with the scheme in July this year and will function for six months until May 2005.

  • Each collector will have signed up to an agreed biosecurity regime and will carry a list of hygiene requirements. We will make sure that list is available to producers in order that a check can be made.

  • The choice of collector and day-to-day contact with that person lies in the hands of the producer.

  • The Fallen Stock Board will issue a monthly statement of cost incurred by the producer; a period of 14 days will be available for any dispute at the end of which the variable direct debit will be actioned.

  • Fallen stock will be required to be collected within 48 hours unless agreed otherwise by the producer. The reality will depend on any minimum collection charge since the cost of removing small quantities could become prohibitive.

  • Scope will exist for producers operating over different sites to function with one collection point but clearly any group of producers wishing to consider this would have disease security considerations and would have to establish a safe location away from other stock to site the collection point - an early discussion with your local State Veterinary Service would clarify requirements for this.

Points to remember:

The subsidy from Defra will be phased out over three years so producers will need to use this time to determine whether a collection scheme has been established that is cost effective and biosecure or whether on-farm disposal via incineration is the safest course to take.

Incineration is capital intensive but may ultimately be the favoured route now that concerns over ash disposal from non-SRM material not being allowed back on to land, appear to have been allayed.

Source: Ian Campbell - National Pig Association - 27th October 2004

5m Editor