HL Deb 15 October 1996 vol 574 cc210-1WA
Baroness Carnegy of Lour

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the spreading on pasture of fertiliser containing blood or bone of sheep or cattle is lawful; and if so, whether it is presently subject to any contrary advice, or if not, whether it is under investigation as to its desirability.

Lord Lucas

The use of all mammalian meat and bonemeal, including that derived from sheep and cattle, as a fertiliser was banned for use on any agricultural land under the Fertiliser (Mammalian Meat and Bone Meal) Regulations 1996, which came into effect on 19th April 1996.

Blood and gut contents from abattoirs can be used as a fertiliser for the benefit of agriculture or ecological improvement. Land spreading of this kind is a recovery operation for the purposes of the amended EC Framework Directive on Waste and is controlled under Part II of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994. Spreading of such waste must be carried out without endangering animal or human health or posing a risk to the environment. The Code of Good Agricultural Practice for the Protection of Water provides guidelines for the application of these wastes to land to avoid water contamination.

The independent Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC) has recently considered the impact of disposal of abattoir waste on the environment, including the spreading of blood and gut contents on agricultural land. It concluded that since no BSE infection has ever been detected in blood there is no reason to recommend that this practice should be prohibited or be thought to be inadvisable.

SEAC keeps all aspects of the controls on transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) under constant review and advises the Government where further measures are necessary.

Forward to