Environment

CPCB flags unsafe disposal of cattle

An incinerator installed at the Delhi Zoo. File   | Photo Credit: S. Subramanium

About 30% of India’s dead cattle and 40% of goats weren’t flayed and nearly nine million bovine hides were “lost annually due to non-recovery,” according to a note by the Central Pollution Control Board proposing guidelines on proper disposal of deceased livestock.

The draft guidelines require carcasses of livestock to be disposed off in incinerators and municipal authorities must ensure that such facilities are set up and made available.

However, the Board has not specified and deadline for the implementation of the guidelines.

Carcasses, especially those that result from the animal slaughter, are an ‘environmental hazard’ and are partly to blame for ‘bird-hit’ hazards at airports, according to an introductory note in the draft. There were nearly 25 million head of cattle including buffalo that died of natural causes. “However there wasn't any organised system of disposal and it had become a major environmental hazard,” the note said.

While the hide was mostly removed for leather, the carcasses were frequently left to “putrefy in the open” and attracted “vultures and dogs polluting the environment and creating environmental hazards. This open dumping attracted birds which can cause air accidents,” the note said.

Flaying of cattle could yield more commercial opportunities, for instance, ‘meat-meal, bone-meat and technical fat’. The process, however, would require setting up more ‘carcass utilisation plants’ where the parts of the animal could be used to make tallow, nutritional supplements and fertilizer.

The other methods of disposal were incineration and ‘deep burial’. The guidelines, which are open for public comment until mid-November, said these latter techniques, which are now the dominant method of disposal, must be put to use only in case utilisation plants couldn't be set up. State PCBs would have to ensure that carcasses were being disposed of properly, the Board said.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 11:21:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/cpcb-flags-unsafe-disposal-ofcattle/article32920657.ece

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