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Animal By-Products

Volume 404: debated on Thursday 8 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many furnaces fuelled from animal carcases and animal byproducts are operational in (a) the North West of England and (b) England. [111161]

We are not aware of any furnaces fuelled from animal carcases and unprocessed animal byproducts.Prior to the introduction of the EU Animal By-Products Regulation on 1 May 2003, the Department was not responsible for the approval of animal carcase incinerators, with the exception of incinerators which dispose of Specified Risk Material. However, a central register of operators currently approved to operate specified risk material incinerators indicates that as at 1 May 2003 there were 306 approved incinerators in Great Britain. Strictly speaking these are not fuelled by animal carcases or unprocessed animal by-products. They use gas/oil as fuel to provide the heat to burn the carcases.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the EU Animal By-products Regulation will apply to the burial of (a) domestic cattle, (b) domestic pigs, (c) domestic sheep, (d) domestic poultry, (e) goats, (f) llamas, (g) ostriches, (h) members of the equine family, (i) dogs, (j) cats, (k) hamsters, (1) gerbils, (m) rabbits, (n) guinea pigs, (o) rodents, (p) farmed fish, (q) domestic fish and (r) wild animals killed on the road; and what advice the Department has given to owners of these animals. [111352]

The carcases, or parts of carcases, of wild animals are exempt from the scope of the Regulation unless they are thought to be diseased or are used to produce game trophies.The Regulation allows member states to apply for various derogations regarding the disposal of animal by-products, and, among others, we have applied for the derogation to permit the burial of dead pet animals.The definition of a pet animal given within the Regulation is: any animal belonging to species normally nourished and kept, but not consumed, by humans for purposes other than farming. Therefore, species such as cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and poultry etc would fall out-with this definition and would require disposal by an approved route other than burial.The situation with regard to equines is complicated. Although it can be argued that humans within the UK do not consume members of the equine family, the UK does export horses/ponies which may be used for human consumption. Under a strict interpretation the EU Regulation would, therefore, ban the burial of pet equines but we would expect local authorities, who enforce the legislation, to deal with such cases on an individual basis.Although no specific advice has been provided to pet owners, information on the disposal of animal carcases is available on the Defra website, at http:// www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/by-prods/default.htm., and from local Defra Animal Health Offices.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what advice she has given to Wiltshire county council about the disposal of TB infected badger carcases; [111396](2) what advice she has given to local authorities in parts of the country where badgers may be infected with TB on the testing, collection and disposal of badger carcases. [111394]

The EU Animal By-Products Regulation, which applied in member states from 1 May, requires, among other things, that wild animals suspected of being infected with diseases communicable to humans and animals, such as bovine TB, are disposed of at an approved plant using one of the following methods:

  • incineration;
  • rendering followed by incineration; or
  • pressure rendering followed by landfill
  • Trading Standards, who enforce the Regulation, have received guidance notes and training on the new rules. In addition, information on the disposal of animal carcases is available on the Defra website, at http://www.defra.gov. uk/animalh/by-prods/default.htm., and from local Defra Animal Health Offices.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the materials by type that will be included through her Department's national subscription collection and disposal scheme for fallen livestock under the Animal By-Products Regulation. [111116]

    Assuming that the scheme is viable, we would envisage that it would apply to the collection and disposal of carcases of all types of farmed livestock on agricultural holdings.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to ensure that schemes to collect animal carcases from farms will not result in the spread of disease. [111185]

    Animal By-Products legislation already controls the collection, storage and transportation of animal by-products, including animal carcases, it also requires records to be kept of any consignment of animal by-products to assist in the auditing and traceability of this material.However, we would expect that only those collectors who follow biosecurity procedures yet to be agreed would be allowed to participate in a national carcase collection service.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to her answer of 10 April 2003, Official Report, column 364W, on fallen stock, if she will list the alternative processes that the Commission is considering for approval; and what the timetable is for the consultation process. [111408]

    On the basis of information submitted, the Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) adopted an "Opinion on six alternative methods for safe disposal of animal by-products" on 10 to 11 April 2003. According to this Opinion, five methods are regarded as safe for the disposal or use of Category 2 and 3 animal by-products. These five methods are:

    • high pressure high temperature hydrolysis;
    • high pressure hydrolysis biogas process;
    • biodiesel Production;
    • Brookes gasification system; and
    • combustion of Tallow in a thermal boiler.
    The Commission will now analyse the SSC opinion and present a proposal approving the five methods listed above to the next Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health.On the basis of the SSC opinion, member states can allow the use of the methods listed for the disposal or use of Category 2 and 3 animal by-products, pending their approval by the Commission, provided that:

  • the alternative methods are approved by the competent authority following adequate validation procedures; and
  • the premises, facilities and operational standards meet the recommendations of the SSC opinion.
  • The SSC opinion can be found at: http://euro pa.eu.int/comm/food/fs/sc/ssc/ out352_en.pdf

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of emissions from furnaces fuelled from animal carcases and animal by-products. [111590]

    No assessment has been made of emissions from furnaces fuelled from animal carcases and animal by-products. However, Defra commissioned an independent report to measure and review atmospheric emissions from small carcase incinerators, which was published in August 2002. This is available on the Defra website at: http://www2.defra.gov. uk/research/project_data/Default.asp under Project Code WA0806.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what advice her Department has given to those who undertake pest control on disposing of (a) foxes, (b) rodents and (c) mustelids. [111349]

    The Animal By-Product Regulation, which applied in member states from 1 May, does not apply to foxes, rodents, mustelids or other wildlife. With regard to rodents, for those killed by rodenticides the Statutory Conditions of Use for each product will stipulate the method of carcass disposal. These conditions are set by either the Health and Safety Executive or the Pesticides Safety Directorate. Typically, the conditions require that rodent carcases are either burnt or buried. These conditions must be strictly adhered to. Defra has not given specific disposal. advice for foxes and mustelids, but recommends that normal good practice is followed. Anyone requiring advice on appropriate disposal methods should contact their local authority.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what regulations will apply to the burial of pets from 30 April; and what information on burial she has provided for pet owners. [111351]

    The Animal By-Products Regulation allows member states to apply for various derogations regarding the disposal of animal by-products, and, among others, we have applied for the derogation to permit the burial of dead pet animals.Although no specific information has been provided to pet owners, information is available on the Defra website at the following address: http://www.defra.gov.uk!animalh/by-prods/default.htm.