Cow Mountains Apr03

Government plans to implement a new law from Brussels on the disposal of animal carcasses, are due to come into force on 30 April.


Under the proposals, farmers will be banned from burying dead cattle, sheep and pigs on their land, as has always been normal practice, and instead will be forced to pick up the costs by paying up to 50 per pig, cow or sheep to have them collected and incinerated. 


The East of England has the largest percentage of pig and poultry farmers in the country, yet no incinerators have been set up in the area to cope with the thousands of carcasses that will have to be disposed of each year.


In other European Union member states, government-funded collection schemes are in operation, but the British Government has so far refused to pay for its introduction here. With only three weeks left before the ban is introduced, I think it is highly unlikely that special collection vehicles will be available to pick up odd carcasses from rural areas. As these carcasses are likely to remain unburied for weeks, this could cause considerable health risks.


This is yet another example of our own Labour Government signing up to EU legislation without giving proper thought to its implementation. The NFU approached the Government over 18 months ago, but no plan has since been drawn up. We now face the prospect of another fridge mountain fiasco - although this time it could be much more unpleasant!