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(iv) Good Farming Practice: Spreading of Poultry Litter on land

This advice leaflet is intended to reduce the risk of disease in animals.

  • Only accept litter from poultry farmers who have adequate systems in place to ensure all poultry carcases are removed from houses, stored and disposed of according to good practice;
  • Vehicles used for the transportation of animal fodder should not be used for the transportation of poultry litter or any other waste material including chicken carcass material;
  • Sites for litter stacks must be on dry ground, vermin proof and remote from all water sources and proximity to livestock  (including on neighbouring farms);
  • Animals should not be grazed on lands on which poultry litter has been spread;
  • Do not spread poultry litter that contains poultry carcasses or parts of carcasses, do not chop litter and check lands thoroughly immediately after spreading to ensure the pasture is carcass free, remove all offending material.Where possible plough litter into land immediately after spreading.
  • Where possible litter should only be spread on tillage land and immediately ploughed in, again check tillage land thoroughly to ensure land is carcass free;
  • Where litter is ploughed into land keep dust to a minimum and ensure that there are no grazing animals in adjacent fields.
  • Do not use land for grazing livestock;
  • Avoid spreading and stockpiling litter in warm weather;
  • There should be a three-year interval between land spreading of litter;
  • Do not make silage from lands where litter has been spread;
  • There are disease risks for animal and man associated with handling of and contact with poultry litter therefore care must be exercised at all times and any un-necessary contact should be avoided;
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after handling litter;
  • Avoid spreading near waterways and comply with the recommended level of animal manure for land spreading;
  • Consult your local District Veterinary Office or the Department of Agriculture website for further information.


Animal Health Division
September 2009