To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how and when her Department intends to advise hunt kennels on how to upgrade their incinerators to knackers yard standards according to the EU Animal By-products Regulations. 
Interim Guidance on Incinerators is available on the Defra website at the following address: http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/by-prods/default.htmWe are discussing more detailed guidance with interested organisations. Once it is finalised, we will make it available to hunt kennels and other premises. In the interim period, hunt kennels are advised to contact their local Defra Animal Health Office for advice.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will estimate the annual number of each species of animal affected by the EU Animal By-products Regulations which will require disposal. 
Information regarding the annual number of each animal species requiring disposal is not available.However, the industry has estimated that something in the order of, at least, 39 million carcases of fallen stock need to be collected and disposed of annually.The estimated number of animals requiring disposal is made up of the following:
1,316,000 adult animal carcasses (bovine, ovine, swine and equine);
2,262,000 immature animal carcasses (bovine, ovine, swine and equine); and
36,000,000 poultry carcasses (avians).
In arriving at this figure, assumptions have been made about mortality rates for adult and immature animals.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how the accrued funds from the proposed national fallen stock collection scheme will be allocated to the approved renderers;(2) if an approved renderer of the proposed national fallen stock scheme will be obliged to pick up all the fallen stock within a defined geographical area. 
Until the viability of the proposed national fallen stock scheme is known, it is not possible to ascertain how any accrued funds might be allocated or on what detailed basis the scheme may operate.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the costs likely to be incurred by a farmer to dispose of (a) a cow, (b) a sheep and (c) a pig under the proposed national fallen stock collection scheme. 
It is not possible to provide separate costings for (a) a cow, (b) a sheep and (c) a pig, as the proposed national fallen stock scheme is based on a cost per holding rather than a cost per animal basis.The proposed fee was £100 per year for the average holding. There would be a discounted rate of £50 for small holdings and a higher rate of £200 for large holdings.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the landfill sites approved to take ash from animal incineration plants. 
The Environment Agency's database shows, as at 16 May 2002, 77 landfill sites approved to dispose of ash arising from incinerators burning Specified Risk Material. A list of landfill sites has been placed in the Library of the House.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what allowances will be made for hill farmers under the proposed national fallen stock scheme. 
Although no specific allowance is made for hill farmers under the proposed national fallen stock scheme, we recognise that there may be practical difficulties in collecting and removing fallen stock from upland areas.Although we expect hill farmers to make every effort to dispose of any carcases in accordance with the Animal By-Products Regulation, we will be asking enforcement agencies to take a pragmatic approach during wintertime and poor weather conditions.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what research she has commissioned into the effect which the Animal By-products Regulation will have on small abattoirs; and what the results of that research were; (2) what assessment she has made of the change in
(a) running and (b) capital costs for small abattoirs as a result of the Animal By-product Regulations. 
On 1 November 2002 the Department wrote to all slaughterhouse operators to obtain information on existing blood disposal routes. Analysis of the responses indicated that a number of red meat slaughterhouses disposed of their blood direct to sewer and did not have collection tanks. As many as one third of slaughterhouses expected to have to install suitable storage facilities.The Department has worked closely with the Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC) and other industry experts to develop guidance on simple, low cost ways in which slaughterhouses could comply with the new requirements. This suggests that the cost of providing the necessary facilities could be as low as £200 but if more substantial work is needed it could be several thousand pounds.It has been estimated that the ban on applying raw blood to land or direct to sewer may increase the cost of disposing of blood from around £16/tonne, for landspreading, to £60-£80/tonne for rendering, incineration or treatment in an approved biogas or composting plant.A partial Regulatory Impact Assessment on the Animal By-products Regulation is in the Library of the House, as part of the consultation on the enforcing Regulations dated 27 January 2003.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what grants are being made available by other EU member states to help small abattoirs implement the Animal By-products Regulations; (2) what effect she estimates the Animal By-products Regulation will have on her plans to make small abattoirs an essential link of the chain of quality meat production and direct food retailing; (3) what discussions she has had with the European Communities about grant funding for small abattoirs to provide capital to upgrade to the standards required under the Animal By-products Regulations. 
Information is not available about grants to help small abattoirs implement the Animal By-products Regulation in other member states and we have had no discussion with the EC about grant funding for UK abattoirs. However, the Regional Development Agencies are analysing the needs for selective assistance in their regions to encourage innovation and investment in the meat supply chain. It is of course a prerequisite that abattoirs qualifying for any such assistance fully comply with all relevant hygiene and environmental legislation.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to ensure that fallen stock will be collected within 24 hours of death under the proposed national fallen stock scheme; what penalty will apply for collection after 24 hours; and to whom that penalty will apply. 
Although no specific time has been specified we would envisage that fallen stock will, once an approved collector has been notified, normally be collected within 24 hours and not more than 48 hours.This would be consistent with existing contractual arrangements where collectors are expected to carry out the collection of fallen bovines and ovines within 24 hours for TSE testing purposes.The Animal By-Products Regulation requires animal by-products to be consigned or disposed of "without undue delay", which in essence means as soon as is reasonably practicable, taking into account the circumstances of the case.Any person in possession of animal by-products, such as fallen stock, who do not comply with the Regulation may face prosecution. Prosecutions may result in a fine of up to £5,000 and six months' imprisonment for cases heard in a magistrate's court or an unlimited fine and up to two years imprisonment for cases heard in the Crown Court.