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NFU applauds new EU poultry litter rules

The UK’s poultry industry has a chance to become more sustainable – economically and environmentally - thanks to new European laws which will allow them to make use of chicken litter for on-farm energy, the NFU has stated.

From July 15, all poultry farmers across the EU will be allowed to combust poultry litter on-farm to create energy, something which the NFU has been lobbying for, for several years.

NFU poultry board chairman Duncan Priestner said: "This represents a massive, positive development for the poultry industry, one which embraces new technology and is keen to make use of on-farm by-products, both to the benefit of business and the environment, by relying less on traditional energy sources".

"There are also a number of other benefits, including healthier birds, minimised biosecurity risks and opportunities to use nutrient-rich ash on farmland. Our poultry farmers will be able to take advantage of these opportunities, and we are working closely with Government to ensure it keeps regulatory burden to a minimum, costs down, re-enforces its commitment to supporting renewable energy and sustainable food production and that systems are in place to approve combustion plants as soon as possible."

NFU member and Norfolk-based poultry farmers Nigel and Patrick Joice, who produce 5.8million birds per year, have been trialling the system since 2012. Their two 55kw biomass burners have managed to produce up to 93% of the farm's heat requirements and this research has helped to shape legislation.

World Poultry


  • Fabiana Corres

    I would like to know more about the systems able to produce 93 % of the farm´s heat requirement. For example what kind of devices? or How is a on-farm combustion plant ? and some economic analysis
    It seems interesting to consider the environmental profit but to evaluate the economic invest in order to reach that goal.

  • Elias Sandig

    The question of investment had been raised. I would like to raise the issue of its contribution to global warming in terms of gas emission or is there a way of mitigating such.

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