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APHA issues food waste warning to pig and poultry keepers

12th Jan 2017 / By Alistair Driver

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has issued a warning farmers and smallholders not to feed catering or kitchen waste to livestock such as pigs and poultry, even if they are being kept as pets.

Simon HallAPHA and Trading Standards are still finding and investigating incidents where farmers and smallholders are illegally feeding pigs and poultry with catering waste, often because they are unaware of the disease risk posed to their livestock by giving them this type of food.

The reminder, which appears to be largely targeted at smallholders and people with pet pigs and poultry, stresses that it remains illegal to feed catering waste, kitchen scraps, meat or meat products to farmed animals.

This is to prevent the introduction and spread of potentially devastating notifiable animal diseases, such as African and Classical Swine Fever, and Foot and Mouth disease. 

Pigs that had been fed undercooked catering waste containing the virus, which originated from outside the UK, were officially identified as the most likely source of the 2001 foot-and-mouth disease outbreak, which resulted in the destruction of more than 10 million animals.

Simon Hall, APHA’s Veterinary Director, said: “It is important that farmers and smallholders help safeguard the health and welfare of their animals by not feeding them with meat, meat products or any waste from kitchens.

“They should also ensure that farmed animals do not have access to catering waste from any other sources, such as dustbins.

“The catering waste ban acts as a national barrier to the introduction of potentially devastating animal diseases, and helps reduce the spread of an undetected disease once it has entered the country.”

What is catering waste?

Catering waste means all waste food originating in restaurants, catering facilities and household kitchens. Due to the risk of cross contamination, this includes vegetarian kitchens, where products of animal origin such as milk are used in food preparation.

EU-wide animal by-product legislation makes it illegal to feed of farmed animals with catering waste or feed material containing, or derived from, catering waste.

Further guidance on using animal by-products as farm animal feed is available here

Guidance on what happens if you suspect notifiable animal disease is available here
 

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