The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, has moved to clarify that the Department of Agriculture has “not placed any mileage limits on the transport of offal from factories or on the transport of offal to rendering plants in Northern Ireland”.

However, Minister Creed said: “A mileage limit applies only to fallen animals over 48 months under the Fallen Animal TSE Subsidy Scheme.”

The scheme ensures primarily that fallen bovine animals over 48 months – which must be BSE-tested in accordance with EU legislation – are disposed of in compliance with all animal and public health and environmental regulations.

Continuing, the minister explained: “Under the terms of the scheme, the distance of haulage of material from the intermediate plant (knackery) to rendering plant shall not exceed a 125km radius unless with the permission of the department.

Where there are not two or more rendering premises inside the 125km radius from the intermediate plant, then delivery is permitted to either of the two nearest rendering premises as measured by road.

“Safeguards are in place in the scheme rules to support competition.

“Under these arrangements, each animal collector may choose from at least two rendering companies for the disposal of over 48-month animals.

Limit on distance

“The limit on distance for material only applies to fallen animals over 48-months and the department does not subject fallen animals under 48-months or other non-scheme material to any distance limits.

Animal collectors can deliver fallen animals under 48-months and non-scheme material to any of the rendering companies, including those in Northern Ireland.

Concluding, Minister Creed clarified: “Animal collectors can also deliver offal to any of the rendering companies, including those in Northern Ireland, without limit restrictions.”