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Anaerobic Digestion

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 77509, tabled on 18 November 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has (a) undertaken an assessment of or (b) reviewed a published study on the environmental risk of digestate which includes chicken manure from well-operated anaerobic digestion sites, which are permitted by the regulator, compared to chicken manure spread directly from unregulated farm sites.

Answered on

23 November 2021

This is a devolved matter and the information provided therefore relates to England only.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has provided advice on managing farm manures to reduce antibiotic resistance. The guidance from APHA recognises that the anaerobic digestion process destroys bacteria and is considered to be the best approach for reducing spread of bacteria to the environment. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has provided practical advice on how to reduce the risk of contamination of ready-to-eat crops when using farm manures to improve soil fertility. The FSA guidelines are based on research, largely funded by the FSA, on pathogen occurrence and survival in farm manures during storage and following land spreading.

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