30 March 2001
Cull U-turn after village protests
By Robert Davies, Wales correspondent
PLANS to burn 40,000 sheep carcasses on a disused airfield on Anglesey have been abandoned and the cull put on hold.
The move follows a round the clock picket of the site by residents of the nearby village of Bodffordd.
Protesting villagers were worried about the public health risks from burning carcasses and at Mona airfield, less than one mile from their houses.
The operation will now revert to the original plan to bury carcasses at Penhesgyn landfill site, near Menai Bridge.
But there are still concerns that bodily fluids from carcasses dumped before the protest started may have run into possible discharge into a stream.
While the Environment Agency conducted tests on the water, the National Assembly officials announced a U-turn by Anglesey County Council.
The council reversed its decision not to allow animals to be buried at Penhesgyn.
Meanwhile, First Minister Rhodri Morgan says the Army will begin preparations on Friday (30 March) allowing slaughtering to resume at Gaerwen Abattoir.
Local farmers and residents are expected to oppose the use of the new site.
Farmers are also protesting about the construction of burial and incineration pits on the Eppynt military range near Sennybridge.
This is due to take 50,000 cattle sheep and pigs from around 80 farms contiguous with infected units in Powys.
Glyn Powell, deputy president of the Farmers Union of Wales, owns a farm in the area, which is still free of the disease.
He warns that the choice of site will have affect farmers with rights to graze 38,000 sheep on the range ands could pose a long-term disease risk.
Farmers were “shell shocked” to hear that culled animals are being transported 90 miles from farms the north of the county for disposal.
Officials refuse to confirm or deny claims that at least five Powys farmers whose stock faces culling have refused entry to vets carrying out risk assessments.
The Environment Agency could announce the results of its tests on Friday (30 March).