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Animal waste transport: are your vehicles leak-proof enough?

  • 14 November 2013
  • By Roger Brown

There are three classes of animal by-product (see box below) – and if you are transporting any of these items, then you need to comply with the transportation and storage requirements as set out in the law, writes Claire Petricca-Riding, partner specialising in planning, environmental and waste management law at Aaron and Partners LLP.

Animal by-products must be collected and carried in leak-proof, covered containers or vehicles, or sealed new packaging, and kept separately from other categories of by-product. These are defined as animal carcasses, parts of carcass or products of animal origin that are not intended for human consumption.

In addition to these requirements, special care must be taken when loading and unloading animal by-products to ensure that there is no escape. Furthermore, there is a requirement that the containers are kept in a clean condition and are disinfected and cleaned after every use.

In July this year Halifax-based Kintore Transport Haulage was ordered to pay more than £12,000 in fines and costs for three breaches of the Animal By-Products (Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2011. The company, which transports waste for the Leo Group, was fined £2,500 for each of the first two charges, £1,500 for the third with costs of £6,000. The breaches were in relation to the transportation of animal byproducts that fell below the standard as set out in the regulations and the EU Directive.

Bradford Magistrates’ Court was told how on the afternoon of 21 April 2012 one of its drivers had to brake suddenly, which resulted in the waste he was carryi ng splashing on to Rooley Avenue at the Staygate roundabout in south Bradford. Although the waste was covered with secured tarpaulin, there was a tear in the material.

Police called Bradford Council and when officers arrived they found waste stretched along the road for about 15 metres. The driver told police he had made an emergency stop and because the tarpaulin was weakened by the tear, it did not hold back the waste. Once the company was notified of the accident, they sent out a team to clear the waste that had been spilt.

Second spillage
On 10 October 2012, at Hard Ings roundabout in Keighley, more road delays were caused after another spillage – of offal – from a company vehicle. In a third incident on 29 October 2012, a motorist called the council after he passed a lorry parked on the brow of a bend, near a hill, and saw a large amount of orange coloured liquid on the road.

Kintore Transport Haulage placed great weight on the fact that it had a patented device called a nappy, which is fitted on the rear of the vehicle to catch any leakage. However, the company was prosecuted because it failed to ensure the animal by-products it was carrying were transported in a leak-proof container.

There are many products on the market that will assist in transporting goods such as animal by-products and other wet products, but the key is to ensure that they are regularly serviced and that any deterioration or fault is identified and repaired immediately. The nappy most likely prevented further escapes of waste, but the regulations insist on no waste escapes at all.

Health risk
With any escape there is a risk to animal or public health through the transmission of disease. In addition to preventing escapes of waste, anyone transporting animal by-products other than manure must complete a commercial document before transportation.

There is no standard commercial document – it can be an invoice, consignment or transfer note – but you must record the origin, quantity and description of the animal by-products, the date they are being transported, the carrier and the destination. The completed form is given to the receiver. Both sender and carrier must keep copies for at least two years.

In the Kintore Transport Haulage case, the company could have received a bigger penalty but for the fact its driver was alert to the potential risk and acted quickly to prevent further escapes.

The three classes of animal by-product
Category one is for very high-risk material, and includes:

  • animals and materials suspected or confirmed to be infected by transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), such as scrapie in sheep, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle;
  • animals that have been experimented on;
  • zoo and pet animal carcasses;
  • wild animals suspected of having an infectious disease;
  • catering waste from international transport, ie aircraft and ships;
  • specified risk material (SRM), ie tissues from cattle, sheep or goats that might be infected with TSEs, or carcasses that have not had SRM removed;
  • animal tissue collected when treating waste water from category two processing plants.

Category two is for high-risk material, and includes:

  • animals that are slaughtered to prevent the spread of disease;
  • manure and digestive tract content;
  • animals and parts of animals which die by means other than slaughtering, eg fallen stock;
  • animal tissue collected when treating waste water from category twoprocessing plants.

Category three is for low-risk material, and includes:

  • meat and fish from food manufacturers and retailers;
  • former foodstuffs of animal origin, or containing products of animal origin – this includes food that is waste due to manufacturing or packaging defects;
  • catering waste, other than catering waste from international transport;
  • eggs and other by-products that do not show signs of infectious disease;
  • milk;
  • fish and other sea animals;
  • shells;
  • hooves, horns and feathers.

How are breaches prosecuted?
Kintore Transport Haulage was prosecuted by Bradford City Council and the matter was kept in the magistrates’ court. Breaches of the regulations are usually prosecuted by the trading standards departments of local authorities and can
be tried in either the local magistrates’ court or the Crown Court.

In a magistrates’ court, the penalty is limited to £5,000 per offence and/or three months in prison, while both are unlimited in the Crown Court. As with other legislation, there may be personal responsibility – which means a prosecution can be brought against an individual as well as the company. This will be the case if the prosecuting authority can prove the offences were committed with consent or connivance or there was neglect on the part of the relevant individual.

  • For further advice on waste management or environmental legislation, contact Claire Petricca-Riding, partner specialising in planning, environmental and waste management law at Aaron and Partners LLP. Call 01244 405440 or email
  • Commercial Motor’s Compliance and Best Practice Bulletin is sponsored by Tachodisc. To sign up to receive the monthly bulletin, go to the Compliance homepage.


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