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(iii) Good Farming Practice: Disposal of Dead Birds from Poultry Houses

The Poultry Industry should be aware of the correct procedures for the disposal of poultry carcasses, as prescribed by the European Communities Regulation (EC) 1774/2002 and the European Communities (Animal By-products) Regulations, 2003. S.I. No. 252 of 2008.

In order to comply with the regulations and to reduce the incidence of poultry litter-related animal disease to a minimum, we ask all poultry farmers to implement the following points of Good Farming Practice:

  1. EU Regulation 1774/2002 states it is illegal to burn, bury or dispose of carcasses by any other method than by those prescribed by the regulations.
  2. Dead birds must be removed from poultry houses on at least a TWICE-DAILY basis. An accurate count should be kept of birds collected and the number recorded in the farm diary.
  3. Carcasses must be safely stored in sealed barrels or wheelie bins while awaiting collection. Barrels should not be overfilled, open barrels or barrels with a plank of wood over them are not acceptable.
    * Containers for the storage of carcasses must be covered, leak-proof and vermin proof
    * Containers must be cleaned, washed and disinfected after each use; maintained in a clean condition and clean and dry before use. The water used for washing these containers should not come in contact with animals
    * Containers must be labelled "Category 2 Material - Not for Animal Consumption" and all labels to be permanently attached to both sides of the container, clearly legible with letters of a minimum of 15 cms in height. See below

    Compliant Containers

    Close up of Bin - Compliant       Bin with shed - Compliant Containers

  4. Carcase bins must be removed from the farm frequently for final disposal at an approved rendering plant.
  5. Records of dates of collection and the number of barrels or bins collected must be maintained and kept available for inspection.
  6. Records of the numbers of birds in, number of birds out, number of dead birds collected and disposed of must be kept and made available for inspection.Records of the quantities of poultry litter removed from houses, the date on which it is removed, the name of the hauler and the destination of the litter should be kept and made available for inspection.
  7. Haulage trailers should be covered when transporting poultry litter.
  8. Haulage trailers used for transporting litter should not be used for transporting animal fodder.
  9. Sites for litter stacks/clamps must be on dry ground, vermin proof and remote from all water sources and proximity to livestock (including on neighbouring farms).
  10. Water used for cleaning poultry houses should be captured and disposed of on land not used for livestock and remote from all water sources and proximity to livestock (including on neighbouring farms).

Farmers/ hauliers who accept litter from growers for land spreading must be made aware by the grower or the haulier that there are disease risks associated with the spreading of such litter, cattle should not be grazed on, or adjacent to, land on which such litter has been spread and farmers/hauliers must be advised of other measures to reduce the risk of disease (this advice is available from the local District Veterinary Office or the Department of Agriculture website).

Animal Health Division
September 2009