Handling and storing animal by-products

How to get a handling or storage site approved, how to store animal by-products (ABPs) and derived products, and how to build the site.

Applies to England, Scotland and Wales

What is a handling site?

Your site is considered a handling site if you receive raw ABPs and then:

  • sort, cut, chill, freeze, or salt them
  • remove hides and skins
  • remove specified risk material (animal body parts that pose specific disease risks, eg cows’ spinal cords)
  • perform post-mortem examinations and take samples
  • pasteurise them before sending them to anaerobic digestion or composting sites

What is a storage site?

Your site is considered a storage site if you store ABPs, or ABP derived products like processed animal protein.

The approval your site needs

Handling and storage sites

Both handling and storage sites must be approved.

First, complete form ABPR3, and send it to your local Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) office.

The APHA will then inspect your site to make sure you’re operating legally.

In Scotland, the Scottish government will approve your site if an AHPA inspector recommends it.

After you’re approved, the APHA will routinely inspect your site, based on the risk level of your set-up and your past results.

Food waste transfer stations

A food waste transfer station is any site where food waste is temporarily kept.

If your food waste transfer station is in England or Wales and you’re handling catering waste that’s destined for compost or biogas plants, you must get it approved as a handling plant.

In Scotland all food waste transfer stations need approval.

You need to get your food waste transfer station approved as a storage plant if the material is only stored.

Storing compost or manure

If you store manure at a place other than where it was produced or where it is to be spread on land then your site must be approved.

To get approval, complete form ABPR3, and send it to your local Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) office.

If you’re importing manufactured manure, you must get approval for the first storage site that will receive it after it enters Great Britain.

Storing food for human consumption

If your site stores food meant for human consumption as well as ABPs, you can only get it approved to store ABPs if there is total separation between the two parts of the building.

APHA will consult with the FSA or other authority responsible for food safety requirements, before agreeing to allow this.

When your site doesn’t need approval

You don’t need to get approval if your site is a garden centre selling manure or compost to the public in retail packaging.

You don’t need approval as a waste transfer station if:

  • the catering waste you handle will go directly to landfill
  • your site is in England and Wales and you only receive household catering waste

Keeping ABPs separate

If you store more than one category of ABPs you must have a plan that shows the APHA how you’ll keep them separate

Learn more about safety plans and on-site hygiene.

Storing derived ABPs

You can store derived products like processed animal proteins at an approved handling site if they are to be:

  • sent to landfill or burned
  • recovered or co-incinerated
  • used as a fuel for combustion
  • used as organic fertilisers and soil improvers
  • used as feed, eg fishmeal, and your site is already registered or approved with your local authority

Approved handling sites include buildings and warehouses used to store bags of derived products made into products for sale to the public.

Storing manure

Your site must be approved, if you store manure, including poultry litter, at a site other than the one where you make or use it.

This does not apply if you are storing manure for use that year at the farm where you’ll use it.

You can store manure or poultry litter outdoors as long as you:

  • make sure farm animals can’t access it
  • keep it separate from any farm animal feed on your site
  • can trace the product
  • stop any noxious odours
  • make sure run-off liquids don’t contaminate the surrounding area
  • make sure staff, their clothing, and their equipment don’t mix manure or poultry litter with livestock feed

You must keep records and commercial documents for all incoming and outgoing material, unless you’re selling packaged product directly to the public.

Learn more about record keeping and labelling.

Storing food for humans at ABP sites

If you keep food intended for humans at a site that also stores or handles ABPs, you must make sure

  • the food is kept in a separate part of your site to ABPs intended for other use
  • your food plant is approved to operate under the food hygiene regulations

How a storage building must be built

The building you use for your storage site must have:

  • a roof, walls and a floor
  • a permanent, weatherproof, vermin-proof structure
  • a solid construction that keeps out pests like birds, rats, mice and flies

You can only use containers for storage if they’re kept indoors, unless:

  • the container is big enough to cope with the quantity of ABPs received
  • you load all ABPs directly into the container on arrival
  • the container is weatherproof and keeps vermin, insects, and birds out
  • you can easily clean and disinfect the container
  • the container drains easily
  • you safely drain off any spillages of waste cleaning or disinfecting fluids
  • you do not drain liquid waste from the container onto the ground around it

Loading and unloading ABPs

Learn how to load and unload ABPs safely and legally.

Learn how to move ABPs safely and legally.

Labelling ABPs

Learn how to label containers or products containing ABPs.

Published 5 September 2014
Last updated 9 October 2014 + show all updates
  1. AHVLA documents have been re-assigned to the new Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

  2. AHVLA documents have been re-assigned to the new Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

  3. First published.