Intensive Livestock Projects
Pigs : Feedlots : Dairy : Poultry

MLA Feedlot By-Product Contaminants  back to Feedlots projects

Manure and effluent from intensive livestock industries and processing facilities may have the potential to transfer contaminants that may be a risk to humans, other animals and agricultural production. To minimise the risk of transfer, it is necessary to have cost effective, practical management recommendations for the treatment and handling of manure and effluent for the intensive livestock and processing industries.

Before practical management recommendations can be implemented, there is the need to identify the risk that treated animal wastes pose to human and animal health, and impact on end user production systems. There is also the need to identify and document the management / treatment procedures required to achieve a “safe” product for sale from specific livestock industries, for the differing target markets.

FSA Consulting collaborated on a project that aimed to identify and evaluate current industry practice for the treatment of by-products, and the requirements of the end use industries with regard to contaminants. The project also aimed to provide a risk assessment for the potential transfer of contaminants from treated by-products. The focus of the project was on the feedlot industry only. The project team investigated products/contaminants likely to have a human or animal health effect. Products or applications with an environmental focus (eg. rehabilitation of land, forestry) were not covered. The range of risks to be identified and assessed included zoonotic diseases pathogens, heavy metals, viruses and parasites.

Feedlot by-products may include non-composted solids, composted solids, pelletised manure, vermicompost or liquid effluent. Common uses of by-products within feedlots include irrigation and fertilising crops. By-products may be re-used off-site as soil conditioner used in the nursery, landscaping, horticulture and broad-acre agricultural industries.

Based on knowledge regarding the potential effects of contaminants found in by-products and likely transfer paths, specific risks can be identified and a risk assessment undertaken. From this approach it is also obvious that risk can be minimised by reducing the level of contaminant present or by interrupting transfer paths.

This project found significant shortcomings in current knowledge available to complete the risk assessment, particularly with assessing risks associated with air-borne transmission. Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points (HACCP) was suggested as a highly effective tool in implementing risk management guidelines. Individual feedlot risk could be determined based on best practice guidelines.



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