Officials try to get burial under way

The disposal
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The Independent Online

Government officials met councillors in Northumberland yesterday in an effort to resolve a dispute over the burial of 200,000 infected livestock.



Government officials met councillors in Northumberland yesterday in an effort to resolve a dispute over the burial of 200,000 infected livestock.

The burial of carcasses in the village of Widdrington has been temporarily stopped after a weekend of protests. Deliveries of carcasses were suspended when protesters blockaded the entrance to the former open-cast coal mine because lorries leaked fluid on nearby roads.

Dr Bob Dobbie, the director of the Disease Emergency Control Centre, on the outskirts of Newcastle, was in talks with two local councillors last night to try to resolve the issue of burying the sheep and cattle carcasses.

Before the meeting he said the temporary closure of the site was not causing any immediate problems but he could foresee difficulties with the disposal of carcasses if the matter was not resolved quickly. Local concerns have centred on whether the leaking fluids, which are believed to be disinfectants, will seep into the water supply.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Agriculture officials are considering a call from farming leaders for livestock on five hobby farms on Anglesey to be culled over fears that they posed a foot-and-mouth risk.

The call came after a slaughter on another hobby farm in Anglesey. Animals on the farm were culled after they showed signs of the disease, a Welsh Assembly spokesman said.

All six farms were originally reprieved by the ministry, despite being within an area designated for a mass cull, and were warned that officials would continue to monitor the situation.

The Assembly spokesman said the farmer's 80 ewes, 40 lambs and three cattle were slaughtered to prevent any further spread of the disease on the island where there have already been 13 cases and 47,000 sheep culled.

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