Diseased Carcass Disposal – Be Prepared, Be Safe, Be Biosecure

September 13, 2018

An Anthrax outbreak in the mountainous southern regions of France only a couple of weeks ago, and the current threat of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Bulgaria, Romania, Poland and other Eastern European countries has sparked widespread concern throughout the European farming and agriculture industry. Affecting hundreds of farms, hundreds-of-thousands of pigs and over 10 European countries already, the number of fatalities is still rising.

Although we all stay positive and hope for swift end to the outbreak. The devastating reality is that before a solution is found, many more animals will die. This sad truth is what drives us at Waste Spectrum Environmental to provide solutions to prevent situations such as this from damaging farms, livestock and agriculture again. We also want to encourage authorities and farmers to be prepared for these devastating outbreaks in the future.

The threat of disease to farmers and their livestock is an omnipresent concern; and even one case of disease can be devastating for farmers and their livelihood.
With the animal world becoming more biodiverse, new diseases and alternative strains of existing diseases are being discovered every day. Continuous development across the globe, and an international trading market for livestock; has presented a need for the transportation of large numbers of animals from farm-to-farm and country-to-country. This causes a more widespread threat of diseases spreading.
If the development and spread of disease goes unnoticed or spreads rapidly, it can quickly spiral out of control; and before we know it, vaccination is ineffective because the disease is too advanced.

As disease and the symptoms associated with disease can go unnoticed for long periods of time, it is often the case that the disease has spread throughout the whole farm ‘silently’. By the time one of the animals dies, the disease has already taken a hold.

It is at this stage that it is vital to operate quickly, efficiently and safely to prevent the spread to neighbouring livestock or other farms.

It is tragic that it is still seen as good practice in some parts of the world to dig a hole and bury the dead. Diseased animal carcasses need to be bio-securely disposed of. Burying them in the ground spreads the disease by contaminating soil and water supplies and allows it to sit dormant in the ground for many years as the spores of disease rest until disturbed.

Another method of disposal is collection. By allowing a collector to come to your site and remove your rubbish, you are allowing the potential spread of disease. Lugging diseased carcasses around the region can cause it to spread to other farms or even humans. By incinerating it on site and overseeing the disposal yourself, you guarantee it is done responsibly and ethically.

One of the most common methods is to dig trenches for mass burning. This method on the face of it seems trustworthy – but it’s not. The process of manoeuvring dead livestock from one place to another, often involves damaging and breaking the animal’s skin. Blood, innards, faeces and fluids are likely to drip – contaminating the land along the way, and in the trenches. Once in the fire pits, temperature cannot be controlled, fumes are not known to be safe and the ash left over can still harbour some of these diseases.

In a dual chamber incinerator, the temperature is controlled, the secondary chamber will ensure all gases and smoke are as clean as possible and the ash is known to be safe. J Abbott et al. (2003) testified that: The bottom ash residue remaining after combustion has been shown to be a non-hazardous solid waste that can be safely put into landfills or recycled.

One of the problems facing the incineration industry is that there is a common misconception that incinerators simply cannot cope with the required capacities that such disease disasters present. This is simply untrue. Waste Spectrum Environmental have designed and manufactured incinerators for the very purpose of high capacity emergency waste disposal.

For example, our Hurikan 1000 was designed following the outbreak of BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) – also known as ‘mad cow disease’ – in the UK in 2001. Our expert design and engineering team developed and tested an incinerator that could operate in the most arduous of environments while providing efficient and effective disposal of diseased animal waste.

Now operating in countries all over the world, the Hurikan range of incinerators has been used to fight and contain outbreaks of diseases including Ebola, Anthrax and Avian Flu. Governments around the world have seen the value in our machines for tackling such outbreaks. Some hold several, strategically placed machines, in stock and ready to tackle any disease outbreak event – animal or otherwise.

It is clear to us that incineration is by far the most cost effective, efficient and preventative method of eradicating disease following outbreak. Incineration offers a complete solution to the issue.

Although it is always saddening to see losses in livestock, and damage to the livelihood; it is worth ensuring that, to the best of our ability, the threat does not return.
And if disease does return, have the infrastructure in place to tackle the problem at the source.

Be confident in your ability to prevent and tackle disease. Be confident using a Waste Spectrum incinerator.

For more information about tackling disease, disease incineration, or our range of emergency waste incinerators please get in touch with our expert and friendly team.

Call: +44 (0) 1905 362 100

Email: info@wastespectrum.com

ASF outbreak details: http://www.pig-world.co.uk/news/risk-of-african-swine-fever-entering-uk-raised-to-medium.html

Anthrax outbreak details: https://www.thelocal.fr/20180820/worst-anthrax-outbreak-in-20-years-sweeps-french-farms

References:
Abbott, John; Coleman, Peter; Howlett, Lucy; Wheeler, Pat (October 2003). “Environmental and Health Risks Associated with the Use of Processed Incinerator Bottom Ash in Road Construction”

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