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Pirbright Laboratory: Standards

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 10 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) whether (a) Mr. John Manser and (b) any other officials responsible for inspecting, regulating and licensing the Institute for Animal Health site and the Merial site at Pirbright were made aware of the issues raised in the letter from the Merial site director of 20 July 2004; (155667)

(2) whether any Minister in his Department was made aware following the letter to the Department from the Merial site director of 20 July 2004 of the need to renew the old effluent drain between the restricted area of Merial and the Institute of Animal Health effluent treatment plant.

Officials, but not Ministers, were made aware of the issues raised in the letter from the Merial site director of 20 July 2004. The letter sought DEFRA’s views, as licensor and regulator under the Specified Animal Pathogens Order 1998, on the proposed specification of the replacement pipe. No questions over the integrity of the pipe in relation to requirements under that Order were raised in the letter, previously or subsequently, until the DEFRA-commissioned Health and Safety Executive inspection in August this year.