20 April 2001
Black Mountains cull called off

By Robert Davies, Wales correspondent

A PLANNED mass cull of 100,000 sheep has been abandoned on farms neighbouring unfenced grazing on the Black Mountains south of Hay-on-Wye.

The cull was called off after foot-and-mouth tests proved negative.

A sharp fall in the number of new cases of the disease in Wales has eased pressure on the Eppynt military range carcass disposal site near Sennybridge.

Carcass burials were halted after claims that bodily fluids had polluted the surrounding after draining into a borehole and a stream.

But Welsh minister rural affairs Carwyn Jones infuriated local protestors by saying that the site will still be used for burning carcasses.

People who attended a public meeting on Thursday (19 April) welcomed the end of burying, but vowed to continue protests until incineration stopped.

The protestors say that the thick black smoke from burning animal carcasses on the site is making them and their children ill.

Assembly officials could reduce the number of carcasses by announcing that some will be disposed of on a previously unused, as yet un-named site.

The site, thought to be in north Powys, is much closer to many farms where livestock are being slaughtered because they are next to infected holdings.

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