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Fallen Stock

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 15 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on progress being made on the implementation of a national fallen stock collection and disposal scheme; what additional monies have been made available for such a scheme; and what guidance on the scheme has been issued to farmers. [107206]

We will shortly be writing to all livestock farmers to invite them to join a voluntary subscription scheme to help finance a national fallen stock collection system. If there is sufficient interest we will take this forward in partnership with the collection and disposal industries. Government will contribute to the funding, but the amount cannot yet be determined as it will be linked to membership.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate her Department has made of the number of fallen stock in the last year which have been (a) removed by a hunt kennel, (b) buried on farm, (c) removed by the farmer to a rendering plant, (d) removed by contractor to a rendering plant, (e) subject to another form of off-farm disposal and (f) subject to other forms of on-farm disposal. [108760]

We do not have figures for the amount of fallen stock that were disposed of last year. To obtain this information would involve the Department in disproportionate costs.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment her Department has made of the acceptability of on-farm (a) bio-digestors and (b) incinerators to deal with future fallen stock after 1 May. [108799]

The bio-digestion of fallen stock is not a permitted disposal route. However, the EU Animal By-Products Regulation may allow for novel disposal methods, such as bio-digestion, to be permitted after consultation of the appropriate scientific committee.The EU Commission has received a number of applications for approval of alternative processes and has sought an opinion from the Scientific Steering Committee. To assist the assessment the Commission requires any submitted data to 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.

On-farm incineration will continue to be a permitted disposal route for fallen stock, provided it is carried out in accordance with the relevant legislation.