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Disposing of animal by-products: Fallen stock & other animal carcases

National Fallen Stock Company logoFallen stock can no longer be buried or burnt in the open because of the risk of disease spread through groundwater or air pollution. Instead, animals must be taken to/ collected by an approved knacker, hunt kennel, incinerator or renderer, either by private arrangement, or under the National Fallen Stock Scheme (see below).

To locate an approved knacker, hunt kennel, incinerator or renderer contact your local Animal Health Office.

Fallen Cattle aged over 24 months

Rules requiring that cattle over 24 months of age, which have died or been killed on farm other than for human consumption, must be tested for BSE, were amended in January 2009 and two significant changes introduced:

  • the age limit of cattle to be tested was raised to those over 48 months
  • as part of the wider Cost and Responsibility Sharing (RCS) agenda, the free collection and disposal service for adult cattle ended and livestock keepers are now responsible for these costs

Fallen cattle aged over 48 months old must still undergo brainstem testing at approved sampling sites prior to disposal and it is the responsibility of the producer to ensure such animals are sent for testing. A list of approved plants can be found at:

To help farmers adjust to this change, Defra have made £2m available to the National Fallen Stock Company (NFSCo) for one year to assist with the cost of collection and disposal.

National Fallen Stock Scheme

The National Fallen Stock Company (NFSCo) was set up in partnership with Government and the farming industry to run a National Fallen Stock Scheme.

NFSCo is a not for profit organisation dedicated to delivering a valued service for the farming community. The Scheme is voluntary, and is designed to assist farmers and horse owners in complying with the Animal-By-Products Regulation by providing a reliable, low cost means of disposal of fallen stock.

The Government has published its response to the Bob Bansback review of the National Fallen Stock Scheme & Company.

See also

Page last modified: 4 September, 2009