Scotland plans to ban untreated blood and guts on land

The Scottish Executive has announced its plans to ban the spreading of untreated organic waste on farmland. The new regulations will require blood and guts to be treated before spreading.

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) called for a ban on the practice in July this year (see related story). SEPA was acting on behalf of community groups concerned about offensive odours and possible health risks.

“Foul smells associated with spreading untreated blood and gut contents to land should soon become a thing of the past under the new legislation,” said Deputy Minister for environment and Rural Development Allan Wilson.

Regulations from 1994 currently exempt the spreading and storage of certain types of waste if the activity benefits agriculture or the local ecology. However, there have been concerns that the exemption is being abused and wastes have been spread which do not confer agricultural benefit or ecological improvement – and instead has been unlawful waste disposal, rather than genuine waste recovery.

Under the new rules, the total addition of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sulphur and trace elements being spread should not exceed the needs of the planned crop; and waste soil should only be spread where it levels uneven land, not solely in order to raise the level of the land. Other aspects to the rule include whether the spreading of the waste improves the capacity of the soil to hold water.

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