Tried and Tested information – reducing bacterial spread from manure and slurry

Tried and Tested information – reducing bacterial spread from manure and slurry

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The nutrient management planning initiative ‘Tried and Tested’ has updated guidance on disposal of manure and slurry on its website, providing details of best practice disposal of manure and slurry to reduce spread of antibiotic resistance to the environment. The original document is available at

The guidelines aim to reduce the risk of antibiotic resistant bacteria from livestock waste entering into the wider environment; this is because bacterial resistance leads to decreased treatment options for the infections they cause in both animal and human health.

Although the risk of transmitting serious infectious disease through land spreading of livestock manure or slurry may be low, the following recommended management options represent good practice.

1. Stacking and storage of manure: Stacking manure for a minimum of eight weeks reduces the number of potentially harmful bacteria. Once the stack is formed, no further manure should be added to the stack for the entire eight week period. If possible this should be on hard-standing in a location that’s inaccessible to livestock.

2. Composting of manure: Manure can be sent for composting at designated facility. The process, which biologically degrades organic material, will help to destroy bacteria harboured in the manure.

3. Storage of slurry: It is recommended that the slurry is held for a period of three months prior to spreading on land, where adequate storage facilities are available, with no further slurry added during this time. Having two slurry stores on farm may facilitate this.

4. Anaerobic digestion of slurry and/or manure: Both slurry and manure can be sent to an anaerobic digestion plant, which destroys bacteria and is considered to be the best approach for reducing the spread of harmful bacteria to the environment.

Further guidance on environmental controls relating to land applications can be found at:



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