- Foot-and-mouth pyres are being dug up and the ash taken
to landfill sites because of fears over BSE, the inquiry was told yesterday.
- Councillor Sue Bolam told the Northumberland foot-and-mouth
public inquiry that the Environment Agency was insisting that a funeral
pyre on the Belsay Estate where about 1,000 cattle had been burnt had to
be dug up and the ash sent to landfill sites elsewhere in the country.
- She said the Environment Agency told her the action was
necessary because cattle over 30 months of age, which are most at-risk
from BSE, had been buried there and there were fears that the BSE might
seep into water supplies.
- The inquiry heard there were other instances where this
- Mrs Bolam told the inquiry that once the animals had
been slaughtered Defra recalled the vet that had looking after their farm,
and did not help with the disposal of the animals.
- She said: "The vet that we had worked so well with
was moved to a new outbreak, which was understandable. But he was not replaced.
We had no further personnel from Maff from that date. We had no contact
from Maff from March 29 to April 23.
- "Eventually two vets came. They were horrified that
we'd had no one there."
- Mrs Bolam also outlined the troubles the contractors
had in erecting the funeral pyre, saying that at one point she had to stop
the lorries coming on to the site until a temporary road had been built,
because the lorries were slipping and at one point, one nearly overturned.
- She also said the two officials from the Army, who had
come to help, had no experience of organising a pyre.