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Foot and Mouth: Recovery Plan

Lord Inglewood asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Whitty: I will write to the noble Lord with a full reply as soon as possible.

Foot and Mouth: On-farm Burial

The Duke of Montrose asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Whitty: Groundwater regulations authorisations ("permits") are required for the disposal of listed substances at a specified site. Carcasses and ashes contain listed substances and so authorisations are required for the burial of slaughtered animals. The requirements of the regulations have been implemented throughout the foot and mouth disease outbreak.

The Duke of Montrose asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether there was any time lapse between a request by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to carry out an on-farm burial of carcasses resulting from the foot and mouth outbreak and the necessary response from the Environment Agency. [HL333]

Lord Whitty: Under the Groundwater Regulations 1998, before authorising disposals of carcasses, a risk assessment ("prior investigation") must be undertaken to ensure that the proposed disposal will not cause pollution of controlled waters. In the majority of cases, the Environment Agency undertook this risk assessment within three hours of being asked to do so by MAFF/DEFRA. Larger and more complex disposal sites may have taken longer to risk assess in order to ensure risks posed to ground and surface waters were fully considered.

The Duke of Montrose asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether general guidance was produced to show areas where an on-farm burial of carcasses resulting from the foot and mouth outbreak might be suitable; and, if so, when it was made available.[HL334]

Lord Whitty: The Environment Agency assessed each proposed disposal on a site specific basis.

Existing published guidance on risk assessment and tools to determine groundwater vulnerability, available prior to the foot and mouth disease outbreak, were used as part of the assessment to determine suitable areas for on-farm burials of carcasses.

The Duke of Montrose asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When mass burial pits for carcasses resulting from the foot and mouth outbreak were first sanctioned.[HL335]

Lord Whitty: The decision to construct the first mass burial site (at Great Orton in Cumbria) for the disposal of carcasses resulting from foot and mouth outbreak was announced on 25 March 2001.

Foot and Mouth: Compensation Payments

Earl Peel asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will make supplementary payments to farmers whose compensation for livestock culled

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    in the early stages of the outbreak of foot and mouth disease was considerably lower than that paid for more recent cases and who are therefore disadvantaged with respect to restocking.[HL360]

Lord Whitty: Ministers are currently considering valuation issues. My right honourable Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Commons) (Mr Elliot Morley) will be meeting interested parties in the coming weeks to discuss the question of backdating standard values.

Cattle: Over Thirty Months Scheme

Earl Peel asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they intend to recommence the Over Thirty Months Scheme for the disposal of cattle; and[HL364]

    What contingency plans they have prepared to deal with the estimated 250,000 backlog of cattle that would have been disposed of under the Over Thirty Months Scheme but for the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.[HL365]

Lord Whitty: The Over Thirty Month Scheme (OTMS) has been suspended in most of the UK since the first outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease in February. The only exceptions have been in Northern Ireland and the Orkney Islands together with the arrangements for eligible OTMS casualty animals slaughtered on farm.

The Government have kept the situation under constant review and have been very much aware of industry concerns that a backlog of animals was developing on farms. However, the fight against foot-and-mouth disease remains the overriding priority and therefore has first call on processing capacity whenever it is needed.

As my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs predicted last week, the Rural Payments Agency has now advised Agriculture Ministers that there is sufficient disposal capacity to restart the OTMS in Great Britain. OTMS started again in Scotland on 23 July, and we hope that it will be possible to restart it in England on 30 July.

Foot and Mouth: Livestock Movements

Earl Peel asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What plans they have to allow a freer movement of livestock in areas which are considered to be at a low risk of infection by foot and mouth disease.[HL407]

Lord Whitty: The Government have announced that they are considering relaxing the criteria for livestock movements outside infected areas this autumn but for now the current restrictions in place on the general movement of livestock remain. However, tighter movement controls are being imposed in the 10km areas around new cases of the disease thereby reducing movements to an absolute minimum for 30 days.

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Foot and Mouth: Trade Restrictions

Earl Peel asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they expect to resume the export trade in live pigs, pigmeat and sheepmeat.[HL408]

Lord Whitty: Following the confirmation of foot and mouth disease in the UK in February, the EU Commission immediately restricted the export of susceptible livestock and animal products from the UK. The UK's foot and mouth disease situation is regularly reviewed by the EU's Standing Veterinary Committee (SVC) which agreed to lift export restrictions from Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man from 7 June. At the meeting on 10/11 July, the SVC agreed to extend the current trade restrictions applying to Great Britain until 30 September 2001 but to review the situation on 11/12 September. The restrictions which currently apply are set out in Commission Decision 2001/356/EC as amended.

In considering whether to lift these trade restrictions, the EU Commission will take into account the recommendations of the Office International des Epizooties, the international animal health organisation.

Foot and Mouth: Agri-environmental Investments

Earl Peel asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What proposals they have for making agri-environmental investments, for example the installation of pollution equipment, on farms where livestock has been culled as a result of foot-and-mouth disease and which have not yet been restocked.[HL409]

Lord Whitty: I will write to the noble Earl with a full reply as soon as possible.

Domestic Waste Recycling: Foot and Mouth Restrictions

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether local authority programmes for recycling domestic waste will be affected by restrictions resulting from foot and mouth disease on the spreading of compost to agricultural land.[HL477]

Lord Whitty: The Government recognise that there needs to be a balance between the need to achieve the waste strategy and recycling targets through increased composting, and the need to protect animal health. Existing controls on the disposal of catering waste containing meat have been extended as a result of foot and mouth disease and have in effect prohibited the spreading on land of compost derived from catering waste from premises which handle meat. The Government are commissioning urgently an independent risk assessment to see if these controls can

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be lifted and what composting standards and conditions would be required to allow them to be lifted. Other areas of recycling are unaffected.

Animal Protein Test

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether research into the development of a validated test to differentiate between animal and fish protein is ongoing; and, if so, when a successful outcome is envisaged.[HL478]

Lord Whitty: The Department is currently funding several research projects to bring a test for animal proteins up to the standard required for EU validation. The outcome is not, however, expected for several months.

Foot and Mouth: Counties Affected

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    In which counties in the United Kingdom there have been confirmed cases of foot and mouth disease this year, indicating in respect of each county the date of the first and most recent case.[HL543]

Lord Whitty: The counties in the United Kingdom where foot and mouth disease has been confirmed, with the relevant dates, are shown in the table below.

CountyFirst reported caseMost recent case
Dumfries & Galloway01/03/200123/05/2001
Greater London--East22/02/200102/03/2001
Greater Manchester17/07/200118/07/2001
Hereford & Worcester27/02/200125/04/2001
Mid Glamorgan08/04/200125/04/2001
North Yorkshire07/03/200118/07/2001
Tyne & Wear23/02/200124/03/2001
West Glamorgan19/04/200121/04/2001
West Yorkshire07/03/200112/07/2001
County Down01/03/200101/03/2001
Co. Tyrone13/04/200122/04/2001
Co. Antrim15/04/200115/04/2001

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