A TRANSPORT firm has admitted breaking animal by-product laws after eight grisly offal spills from its lorries.
Halifax-based Alba Transport, which carries waste for sister company Omega Proteins, pleaded guilty to two offences and asked for six more to be taken into consideration.
They included the two spills at the junction of Swalesmoor Road and Queensbury Road, Queensbury on July 1, and outside Foxhill Primary School, Queensbury, on June 17.
The others date back to September 2009 and took place in and around Bradford.
Magistrates in the city heard that cow intestines, chicken waste and blood had been shed from the firm’s lorries, and on one occasion part of the spill was nearly a foot thick.
Harjit Ryatt, prosecuting for Bradford Council, said some of the spillages, including the one outside the school, had contained category one waste - the most dangerous to public health. He said: “Category one waste can contain pathogens and some have the possibility for cross-species contamination.They can pass from animal to human and vice-versa.”
He claimed the company did not appear to have addressed the problem since 2009 and that the method of transport, in tarpaulin-covered trailers, was partly to blame.
He said: “Transporting this type of waste in that manner means there’s a likelihood that the load will spill out into the environment.”
Rob Rode, for Alba Transport, said the company took its responsibilities “exceptionally seriously” and vehicles must pass regular inspections before they are allowed on the road and put the spills down to drivers’ mistakes.
“A company can only regulate as far as it is able and there are always human errors,” he said.
Magistrates committed the case to Bradford Crown Court to be sentenced on August 26.
Andrew McLaughlin, chairman of the bench, said: “We feel our powers are insufficient in this case. In our opinion the number of incidents represents a persistent failure on behalf of the company - this over an extended period.”
The court heard Omega Proteins was prosecuted three times over similar incidents before Alba Transport was founded in 2009.
It was fined £20,000 in May for breaching environmental permit conditions at its Swalesmoor road waste storage site, and also admitted flouting planning rules at its Thornton rendering plant at a public inquiry last November. Both firms are owned by the Leo Group.
Bev Barker, Swalesmoor Action Group spokeswoman, said: “The Leo Group constantly blames human error when this cavalier attitude to rules and regulations comes from the top.
“It’s time to remove their permits and free residents and motorists from their hazardous practices.”
l See a video of the offal spillages at www.halifaxcourier.co.uk