AHVLA has warned farmers against using compost and anaerobic digestion residues as bedding materials for livestock as they can spread deadly animal diseases.
AHVLA has warned farmers against using compost and anaerobic digestion residues as bedding materials for livestock as it can spread deadly animal diseases.
According to the agency, if digestates produced at plants approved under the Animal By-Product (ABP) Regulations (2011) are used as bedding, animal diseases can be spread. This is therefore illegal.
The agency is also warning farmers that livestock must not be allowed access to land to which these composts and digestates have been applied, and that crops from such land must not be used to feed livestock for a period of 21 days (2 months for pigs) – known as the ‘waiting period‘ – following application.
AHVLA says it takes take all breaches of the ‘waiting period’ requirements in the regulations “very seriously” and, if flouted, may restrict the movement of livestock that have access.
However, AHVLA says it “encourages the responsible use” of composts and digestates produced at approved plants as organic fertilisers and soil improvers, and advises that they should be applied to land using good agricultural practices.
However, approval from AHVLA is needed when composts or digestates are stored at premises other than the premises of origin or the place of direct application. This is particularly relevant if ground conditions prevent application to land.
Image © Andrew Dunn