Posted 16 January 2013
Researchers at Harper Adams University have recently been awarded more than £150,000 to fund a project that will investigate anaerobic digestion as an on-farm method for the containment and disposal of fallen livestock.
The work will look at the anaerobic digestion of porcine carcase material and is a continuation of research previously conducted at the university.
Starting late spring, the project is anticipated to take 18 months to complete and will be conducted by a post-doctoral researcher under the supervision of a project team led by Principal Lecturer and Head of the Animal Systems, Dr Robert Wilkinson.
Dr Wilkinson, said: “Following the BSE epidemic, and under current EU legislations, farmers are no longer allowed to bury or burn fallen stock, which must be disposed of by approved methods such as collection and rendering.
“This increases costs and represents a major risk to biosecurity. The development of sustainable on-farm systems for storage and disposal of fallen stock would be of significant benefit to the agricultural industry.
“Over the last few years we have been working with a PhD student, Marie Kirby, to investigate the use of anaerobic digestion as a possible method for on-farm storage and bio-reduction of fallen pigs, with promising results. This funding will allow us to continue our research and refine protocols to optimise both digester performance and destroy pathogens.
“We are extremely pleased to be continuing this work which is jointly funded by DEFRA and AHDB (BPEX division)”