31 March 1998
Effluent from Kent BSE cow factory
could have contaminated water

EFFLUENT from Thruxted Mill, near Canterbury, Kent, which disposes of cows at risk from bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) could be contaminating water supplies, the public inquiry into the disease heard yesterday.

Dr Alan Colchester, a neurologist and David Williams, a biologist, said the possibility that the effluent was contaminating the water of 140,000 people living in Ashford could not be ruled out.

The mill disposes of 100,000 cattle each year under the Governments scheme to kill cows older than 30 months.

Mid Kent Water said there was no reason for anyone to be alarmed.

Dr Stephen Dealler, microbiologist at Burnley General Hospital, who is due to give evidence tomorrow, claims only one in five cases of BSE have been reported to the Government by farmers.

He says he can back up his claims and that farmers had not been honest about the extent of the problem.

“There is no reason to doubt that this covering-up is still going on in the farming community,” he said.

  • BSE inquiry to look into Kent water supply, FWi, 20 February &#151 Click here
  • The Scotsman 31/03/98 page 2
  • The Independent 31/03/98 page 7