To visitors, the United Arab Emirates is often considered a land of beautiful beaches, deserts and shining shopping malls. But there are also an increasing number of farms with agriculture and livestock, ranging from modern mega farms to traditional family smallholdings called ‘ezabs’. Sheep, goats, cows and camels are all popular for their breeding, meat, milk and skins, and poultry farms are also common. Away from the table, horses are also very popular; the UAE is home to some of the finest equine stables in the world.
But with large-scale farming and breeding comes a practical problem which needs to be considered. What to do with animals who die an untimely death, whether from disease, natural causes or traffic accidents? These animals, generally described as ‘fallen stock’ cannot be eaten, but nor can they be left to rot as this would risk the spread of disease. For the same reason, disposing of the carcases in landfills or dumpsites is also suboptimal, as stray dogs might transmit any pathogens or parasites.
The most hygienic and sanitary solution is thermal destruction at high temperature. But this is not as simple as it sounds. With a single adult camel often weighing over half a tonne, tailored facilities are required.
Averda, a specialist waste management solutions company based in Dubai was able to help. The company has just completed the construction of a modern thermal destruction unit, capable of safely reducing 20 tonnes of animal carcases a day into a pile of harmless ash. Working with specialist suppliers from the UK - which developed their know-how following the BSE crisis which started during the 1980s – Averda has built and will operate, a specialist unit in the Emirates.
“There is nothing small in this project,” explains Averda’s Delivery Director, Mohammad Merashly. “We have been careful to choose the right technology for the scale of the challenge.”
Temperatures of between 650 and 900 degrees safely and rapidly consume both flesh and bone, creating a pile of ash and emitting no harmful emissions. The fully automated process minimises human contact with the fallen stock and maximises efficiency.
The capacity of the plant is designed to flex with requirements as they rise and fall; birthing season can see an uplift in the amount of fallen stock and the plant also contains a cold storage area where in leaner times carcases may be safely stored.
The plant has uses beyond fallen stock. Investment in this facility also creates the capacity for safe, bio-secure destruction of out-of-date foodstuffs, abattoir waste and any other materials that might be potentially hazardous to public and environmental health. It’s not a glamorous facility, but it’s an important component of the Emirate’s public infrastructure and Averda are proud to provide the expertise behind it.