Plasterboard bedding alert

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FARMERS have been warned not to use gysum in bedding for animals.

SEPA last week advised against using the calcium sulphate from waste plasterboard as it “may present a serious risk to life”.

The announcement came after an investigation of the deaths of four cattle in the Borders earlier this year which were linked to toxic gas from a slurry store and reportedly involved the use of plasterboard containing gysum.

The Scottish Agricultural College said it welcomed the guidance which clears the product as a soil conditioner.

SAC’s consulting director, Johnathan Cowens, said: “While gysum may have an important role to play as a soil conditioner, it is clearly potentially dangerous if used in animal bedding.

“Even without gypsum, the dangers posed by stirring slurry, especially in slatted floor systems, have been well documented and we would urge farmers to follow the proper procedures and not take risks with the lives of their stock, their families and staff, or themselves.”