1 March 2002

Water fears after F&Mstock burial

THE environmental watchdog has admitted that in the future groundwater could become contaminated by effluent from the remains of animals buried during the foot-and-mouth crisis.

A new report released by the Environment Agency on Wednesday (Feb 27), said while it appeared any environmental impacts have been short-term and localised, the agency is monitoring the situation.

"We cannot be sure that there will not be long-term impacts on groundwaters from the burial of carcasses and ash," it said. "But we will be monitoring to ensure that any problems are detected and dealt with."

Agency chairman Sir John Harman said: "Overall, the immediate environmental impact of the foot-and-mouth outbreak appears to have been limited, but we are left with a legacy of mass burial sites that will require management and monitoring well into the future. &#42

At Throckmorton in Worcestershire, for example, leachate from the carcasses has to be tankered away from the site.

The report says by September 2001 some 74,000cu m had been removed from the site for treatment and disposal at sewage treatment works.