Areas in England and Wales are still subject to restrictions on the movement, sale and slaughter of sheep because activity concentrations of 137Cs in sheepmeat may exceed the 1000 Bq kg-1 limit imposed after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident. The operation of various monitoring programmes has enabled lamb production to be sustained in restricted areas. Under present circumstances, it is predicted that some restrictions will remain until at least 2003. This paper describes an assessment of the practicability and cost-effectiveness of five alternative management options: utilisation of existing improved land for the purposes of clean feeding; improvement of unimproved upland grazing for the purposes of clean feeding; provision of housing and clean feed; administration of boli containing ammonium ferric hexacyanoferrate; and monitoring at the market place. The practicability of each option, which encompasses technical feasibility, capacity, cost, impact and acceptability, was assessed through a series of case studies carried out on farms in the restricted area of north Wales, and through consultation with a range of organisations with interests in farming and/or the environment. Recommendations are made for the future management of the restricted areas. (C) 2000 The National Radiological Protection Board.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Financial support for this study was provided by the UK Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Radiological Safety and Nutrition Division. The authors are grateful to representatives from the Farmers’ Union of Wales and the National Farmers’ Union for their advice and assistance during the case studies, and to the 12 farmers who participated in the survey.
- Practicability: England and Wales