NFU Boss Calls for Funds to Ease Farm Burial Ban
Byline: Andrew Forgrave Rural Affairs Editor
THE Government must partfund any new system for disposing of livestock, farm unions have said.
From April 2003, on-farm burial will no longer be permitted in the UK and other methods of disposal must be found.
But Deputy NFU Cymru president Dai Davies has insisted the UK livestock sector is unable to absorb any extra costs.
And David Harden, chairman of the CLA, who described the situation as ``laughable,'' said additional costs would only encourage rule-breaking among cash-strapped farmers.
The UK is currently the only EU country that still allows on-farm burial but others, which regard livestock disposal as a public health issue, give farmers help. Last week, NFU Cymru met rural ministry Defra and renderers to discuss what new methods could be used once the Animal By-Products Order is implemented.
Mr Davies, a dairy farmer from Whitland in Carmarthen, said: ``Any new method will incur extra costs. Onfarm incineration is one option, but the Government must make a commitment to fund both capital and ongoing operating costs for such a scheme.''
``NFU Cymru has suggested biodigestors as an alternative and Defra has promised to investigate this possibility.''
The union is concerned that farm biosecurity would be compromised by a farm-to-farm collection service - and in any case would be impractical for cattle.
``Removing fallen stock from upland areas could prove physically difficult,'' said Mr Davies. ``In winter, adverse conditions could make it dangerous for the farmer. …