Posted 16 October 2014
Research conducted by Harper Adams University could potentially increase the value of fallen stock on pig farms and enhance biosecurity.
Current legislation for the collection and disposal of fallen livestock represents a significant cost for farmers. In addition, on-farm storage and the movement of fallen stock between sites can pose a serious risk to both biosecurity and the environment.
Research carried out by Harper Adams and Danish consultancy, Patriotisk Selskab, investigates the potential of chilling fallen livestock – a technique used by Denmark and The Netherlands since 2008.
Leading the reseach at Harper Adams is Principal Lecturer, Dr Robert Wilkinson. Dr Wilkinson said: “The introduction of chilling could potentially increase the value of rendered products and reduce the costs associated with fallen stock disposal.
“It could also provide significant additional benefits throughout the animal by-products supply chain. These additional benefits do not just accrue to farmers, but to Government and the indusry as a whole”.
Sue Rabbich, BPEX environment and building research co-ordinator, said: “Further research will focus on quantifying the effects of storage temperature and duration on the carcase yield, quality, odour emissions and microbial stability.
“The aim is to develop a more secure, cost-effective and sustainable on-farm system.
“There will be an amount of inital investment for UK pig producers and those involved in collection and disposal of fallen stock, but the potential costs of not investing in the technology could be considerably higher.”
The work was funded by BPEX, the National Fallen Stock Company (NFSCo) and the Foodchain and Biomass Renewables Association (Fabra).