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Routes by which pathogens associated with livestock slurries & manure may be transferred from farm to wider environment - WA0804

Description
The overall objective of the project is to investigate the routes by which management of livestock slurries and manures during housing, storage and land spreading may lead to pathogens being transferred from the farm to the wider environment.
Initially, a desk study will be undertaken to quantify and prioritise all the demonstrated and theoretically probable pathogen loss routes from the farm, by drawing on the scientific literature and practical experience. Full use will be made of previously commissioned MAFF, FSA and SERAD funded research results, and on-farm experience in assessing pathogen loss routes.
Replicated field-scale experimental work will be undertaken on existing hydrologically isolated plots under grazing grassland and manure management (Rowden site at IGER, North Wyke), and where contrasting liquid and solid manure types have been applied to grassland (ADAS Rosemaund and IGER North Wyke) and arable land (ADAS Boxworth). The studies will examine the processes and routes involved in the transmission of pathogens to surface and ground waters. Losses of viable pathogens will be quantified using generic E. coli and a non-pathogenic K12 marker strain and, where feasible, using manures naturally infected with Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria and Cryptosporidium. Aerosol transmission of pathogens during slurry and dirty water spreading will be studied, again using the K12 marker strain.
An assessment will be made of the relative risks of transmission to the wider environment, and the threat to public health of any pathogen losses identified. Also, practical and cost-effective ways to reduce any such risks to an acceptable level will be considered, and the suggested control options compared with current practice and recommendations in the Codes of Good Agricultural Practice.
The research described in this proposal will assess the relative importance of different pathogen transfer routes, the processes involved and will provide advice on ways of reducing the risks. The work will enhance the scientific basis for MAFF policy and guidance enabling manures to be applied to agricultural land in a sustainable manner, without presenting unacceptable risks of pathogen transfer to the wider environment.
Objective
To investigate the routes by which management of livestock slurries and manures during housing, storage and land spreading may lead to pathogens being transferred from the farm to the wider environment.
The detailed objectives are to:
(1) Quantify and prioritise all the possible pathogen loss routes from the farm to the wider environment, by drawing on the results of existing work and practical experience.
(2) Examine the routes and processes involved in the transmission of pathogens during and following landspreading, and quantify losses of viable pathogens to the water and air environments.
(3) Assess the relative risks of pathogen transmission to the wider environment, the food chain and the public.
(4) Formulate practical and cost-effective recommendations to reduce any such risks to an acceptable level, that could be incorporated into future revisions of the Codes of Good Agricultural Practice
(5) Produce a prioritised set of recommendations for further research.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Routes by which pathogens associated with livestock slurries & manure may be transferred from farm to wider environment   (577k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2001

To: 2004

Cost: £382,735
Contractor / Funded Organisations
ADAS UK Ltd.
Keywords
Environmental Protection              
Land Contamination              
Peer Review              
Pollution              
Sustainable Production              
Fields of Study
Environmental Protection - Agriculture