Bioreduction of Sheep Carcasses Effectively Contains and Reduces Pathogen Levels under Operational and Simulated Breakdown Conditions

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Options for the storage and disposal of animal carcasses are extremely limited in the EU after the introduction of the EU Animal By-products Regulations (ABPR; EC/1774/2002), leading to animosity within the livestock sector and the call for alternative methods to be validated. Novel storage technologies such as bioreduction may be approved under the ABPR provided that they can be shown to prevent pathogen proliferation. We studied the survival of Enterococcus faecalis, Salmonella spp., E. coli O157 and porcine parvovirus in bioreduction vessels containing sheep carcasses for approximately 4 months. The vessels were operated under two different scenarios: (A) where the water within was aerated and heated to 40 °C, and (B) with no aeration or heating, to simulate vessel failure. Microbial analysis verified that pathogens were contained within the bioreduction vessel and indeed reduced in numbers with time under both scenarios. This study shows that bioreduction can provide an effective and safe on-farm storage system for livestock carcasses prior to ultimate disposal. The findings support a review of the current regulatory framework so that bioreduction is considered for approval for industry use within the EU.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5267–5275
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume47
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 May 2013
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