Anaerobic digestion reduce pathogens in pigs

Anaerobic digestion (AD) can significantly reduce pathogens in pig carcase material (PCM), according to new research at Harper Adams University.

The research also showed that bio-reduction through AD could provide a solution to on-farm storage or disposal of pig carcase material which could reduce the costs of fallen stock collection and reduce vehicles driving between farms.

The first stage of the research established that the AD process could significantly reduce the number of particularly resilient pathogens in PCM and that it can generate considerable quantities of biogas.

The second stage of the research, funded jointly by Defra and Bpex, is aimed at reducing fossil fuels by helping towards AD being used as a self-sustaining on-farm system for storage or disposal of PCM.

Principal lecturer and researcher Dr Robert Wilkinson said: “Following the BSE epidemic in cattle, and other livestock diseases, EU legislation prohibits farmers from burying fallen stock on farm.

“Instead, they must be collected for disposal by approved methods such as incineration or rendering. The development of sustainable on-farm alternatives for storage or disposal of fallen stock could be of significant benefit to the agricultural industry.”

Before being developed commercially, it must provide a positive outcome which can then be approved by the EU.

Bpex environmental projects manager Sue Rabbich said: “A pig producer questionnaire has revealed that AD was a method of fallen stock disposal that farmers would like to see on farm.”

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