Environmental impacts of the BSE crisis

Animal rendering plants have received a huge public subsidy as part of the Government's response to the BSE crisis - though Whitehall has done little to prevent them causing severe odour nuisance to local communities. But the full environmental consequences of the BSE crisis may only emerge as the subsidy is phased out over the next few months. Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of raw animal waste may be diverted to landfill, while renderers are fighting back with plans to burn meat and bone meal as fuel. Meanwhile, decisions are looming on whether power stations or specialist new incinerators should be used to burn a major part of the cattle waste stream. All these options face significant obstacles in public acceptance.

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