24 April 2001
Massive slaughter backlog in Wales

By Robert Davies, Wales correspondent

MORE than 200,000 animals in Wales are still waiting for slaughter under a welfare disposal scheme set up because of foot-and-mouth disease.

A joint emergency session of the Welsh National Assemblys agriculture and environment committees heard that 203,000 animals were waiting to be culled.

Glyn Davies, chairman of the assemblys agricultural committee, described what is happening on farms as “the greatest welfare crime of the century”.

Unless disposal sites are made available animals will starve to death before the cull is completed, he warned.

Mr Davies urged local authorities to co-operate with the Intervention Board by providing access to landfill sites.

Only 20,000 animals have been slaughtered under the scheme in Wales.

Mr Davies told Intervention Board chief executive Johnson McNeil that he was in charge of the most badly administered agricultural scheme ever.

“I get many telephone calls every day from desperate people who cannot understand why animals are being left to suffer, he said.

We have a quite awful crisis on our hands and must all work together to find a way of dealing with stock that needs to be slaughtered.”

Water and air pollution tests at a disposal site at the Eppynt military range have proved inconclusive. New tests are already underway.

A pyre of burning carcasses dug up from a leaking burial pit will continue for at least another week. After that, the site is expected to be closed.

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