Discussion Documents and Official Risk Assessments for the 2001 UK Foot-and-Mouth Disease
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The informationis replicated directly
and unabridged with the kind permission of the Environment Agency. Further information may
be found on http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/
Reference Code: W39.31May01.sib4
document was produced by the Environment Agency as a specific response to the FMD outbreak
in the UK in 2001 and was made available on their website.
Foot and mouth disease
FMD: Advice on the use and disposal of disinfectants
The Environment Agency is urging farmers and others in England and Wales to take care
when using and disposing of disinfectants in relation to the current outbreak of 'Foot and
The priority is to eradicate the 'Foot and Mouth' virus as quickly as possible.
Effective disinfection is a critical aspect of disease control, but it is also vitally
important to take care to avoid pollution and environmental damage.
Only use those disinfectant products approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries
and Food (MAFF) for control of the 'Foot and Mouth' virus.
A complete list of approved disinfectant products is available from MAFF (Helpline
All disinfectants pose a potential pollution risk, particularly to rivers, streams and
their associated wildlife, and those with a phenolic content can be particularly
persisent. Sensible precautions, however, will minimise the risks.
On farms and facilities within MAFF exclusion areas
On farms and facilities where the presence of 'Foot and Mouth' disease has been
confirmed, substantial disinfection will be required under the supervision of MAFF
veterinary officers. Arrangements are in place between the Environment Agency and MAFF to
agree suitable disposal routes for large quantities of disinfectants. Where appropriate,
the Agency will issue relevant authorisations for disposal, but using special emergency
measures to complete the process expediently and at no charge.
All other areas
- In all other cases, outside areas where strict disease control orders are in place, the
Environment Agency gives the following advice: Follow the manufacturer's product
instructions and safety advice, and make up only the quantity required.
- Take care when transporting, decanting and diluting disinfectants.
- In the event of a serious spillage that threatens the environment, contact the
Environment Agency's emergency helpline on freephone 0800 08 70 60 for advice
When siting disinfecting areas:
- Consider the position carefully. Choose sites well away from ditches and drains, and
where there is no likely threat to water from spillage or run-off.
- Site footbaths away from drains.
- When constructing 'pads' for disinfecting vehicles, lay plastic sheeting on the ground
with a shallow earth wall under each edge, so that the pad can be driven over but still
retains the disinfectant. Straw can then be added to reduce splashing.
- In difficult locations, consider whether a simple diversion could be made to direct any
run-off to a suitable grassy area.
When disposing of used disinfectants:
- Wherever possible, used disinfectant should be added to a
slurry/manure store, with eventual disposal to land in accordance with the MAFF Water
- Small quantities eg the contents of a small footbath,
should similarly be added to a slurry/manure store with subsequent disposal to land in
accordance with the MAFF
Water Code. Where this is not possible, however, such small quantities should be
tipped onto an area of permanent grass that poses no likely threat to water.
- Never dispose of used disinfectant into surface water
drains or septic tanks.
- Straw that has been soaked in disinfectant should be
composted, with subsequent spreading onto land in accordance with the MAFF
Water Code. On sites where there is no facility to compost then the material
should be bagged and taken to a suitably licensed landfill site.
If in any doubt about disposal, contact the nearest Environment Agency Area Office by
telephoning 0845 933 3111.