Animal by-products that can be spread on land without processing

Find out when you can apply ash, shellfish shells and eggshells to land as fertiliser without processing.

You can apply the following animal by-products (ABPs) directly to land as long as you have an Environment Agency waste disposal permit or exemption:

  • ash
  • shellfish shells (in those cases explained in this guide)
  • eggshells (in those cases explained in this guide)

Other ABPs must be processed before you can apply them to land. (Find out how to process ABPs for use as fertiliser.)

When you can spread shellfish shells on land without processing

Shellfish shells must be processed before application to land, unless you remove the soft tissue and flesh from the shell. (Find out how to remove flesh and soft tissue.)

It’s impossible to completely remove soft tissue and flesh from crustaceans, such as crabs. You can still spread shells from crustaceans on land without processing, if the following conditions are met:

  • they have been cooked in a government approved fishery products processing plant
  • soft tissue and flesh have been removed to leave no more than 40% volatile solids (this will need to be determined in a laboratory)
  • the shells have been crushed (but not reduced to powder)
  • if the shells are stored before application to land, farmed animals don’t have access to them
  • no farmed animal can access the land where the shells are applied for 21 days after application (pigs can’t access the land for 60 days)
  • the land where the shells are applied is ploughed immediately after application or some other method is used to mix the shells into the soil immediately after application

In England shells from molluscs (eg oysters, mussels and scallops) can also be spread on land without processing if the conditions for crustacean shells are met.

When you can spread eggshells on land without processing

Eggshells must be processed before application to land unless all of the following conditions apply:

  • the eggs are from flocks which have complied with all the testing requirements of the national control programme for Salmonella in egg laying flocks and have not tested positive for Salmonella Enteritidis or Salmonella Typhimurium
  • the eggs are not subject to any restrictions imposed under EU or national legislation
  • the eggs have been crushed and processed to ensure that liquid content (yoke and albumen) make up less than 4% of the weight of the shells after they have stood for 1 hour (you’ll need to keep a record to show you have checked this)
Published 5 September 2014
Last updated 1 October 2014 + show all updates
  1. AHVLA documents have been re-assigned to the new Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).
  2. First published.