APHA on feeding kitchen scraps to farm animals
The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) is warning farmers and smallholders not to feed catering or kitchen waste to livestock such as pigs and poultry, even if they are being kept as pets.
It remains illegal to feed catering waste, kitchen scraps, meat or meat products to farmed animals – this is to prevent the introduction and spread of notifiable diseases, such as African and Classical Swine Fever and Foot and Mouth disease. However, the APHA and Trading Standards say they continue to find and investigate incidents where farmers and smallholders are doing just that, often because they are unaware of the disease risk posed to their livestock by giving them this type of food.
Catering waste means all waste food originating in restaurants, catering facilities and household kitchens. Due to the risk of cross contamination, this includes vegetarian kitchens where products of animal origin such as milk are used in food preparation.
The most likely source of the Foot and Mouth disease outbreak in 2001 was pigs being fed undercooked catering waste containing the virus which originated from outside the UK. According to the APHA, the outbreak resulted in the destruction of more than 10 million cattle and sheep, with compensation running into many millions of pounds.