To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she plans to give guidance on the suitability of biodigestion in respect of meeting the requirements of the EU Annual By-Products Regulation. 
[holding answer 4 April 2003]: The biodigestion of animal by-products is not a permitted disposal route. However, the EU Animal By-Products Regulation may allow for novel disposal methods, such as biodigestion, to be permitted, after consultation of the appropriate scientific committee.I understand that the EU Commission is considering for approval a number of alternative processes that have already been submitted by the industry.The Commission requires any submitted data to be structured in accordance with the five key components of the Framework prepared by the Commission's Scientific Steering Committee to assist the assessment of the risk from different options for the safe disposal or use of animal products. The key components cover:
the identification and characterisation of the risk materials;
the TSE risk reduction by the particular process;
the degree of risk containment:
the identification of interdependent processes; and the intended end-use of the product.