23 April 1998
Four MLC inspectors suspended over incinerator discrepancy

By FWi staff

THE Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC) has suspended four inspectors following allegations of paperwork discrepancies at a Welsh incinerator used to destroy cattle.

The incinerator at Wrexham, north Wales, has been commissioned to burn suspect BSE cattle carcasses, and cows culled under the over thirty month scheme (OTMS).

The allegations came to light at a public inquiry on Tuesday (21 April). Incinerator firm Cluttons had been seeking planning permission from the Wrexham council to step up its throughput when the error was noticed. Cluttons currently has permission to destroy 30 carcasses a day, but has the capacity to burn more.

During the inquiry, forms used by MLC employees as part of their internal procedures have been examined and appear to show fewer carcasses destroyed than those arriving at the plant. The MLC monitors incinerator plants as agent for the Intervention Board.

Colin Maclean, MLC director general, said: “The allegation is that there have been paperwork discrepancies. This is something I will not tolerate and is the reason I suspended four people immediately this matter came to my attention.”

Phil Saunders, MLC spokesman, said the granting of permits to destroy cattle was a decision for Wrexham council. He said any question of permitted numbers being exceeded was a matter between Cluttons and the council.

“There is no question that these animals havent been burnt, gone missing or cant be accounted for. The MLC is satisfied that theyve all been incinerated,” he said.

  • MLC suspends inspectors, FWi, today (23 April) — Click here