- Overwhelmed by new sanitation rules stemming from
mad cow scare, Spanish authorities have provoked an uproar by dumping dead
cows in an abandoned mine near a village.
- The regional government in Galicia, where Spain's two
confirmed cases of mad cow surfaced in November, said yesterday that the
remains of some 100 cows which died in accidents or of natural causes have
been placed in a disused quartz strip mine just outside Lanza in La Coruna
province and covered with quicklime.
- The dispute comes as officials in another agricultural
region, Castile-Leon, reported two suspected cases of the illness
Officials in Galicia said the mine burial technique conforms with EU health
regulations. They did not say how many dead animals would eventually end
up in the mine.
- Residents in Lanza are worried that the carcasses will
poison streams or ground water.
- Lanza, with a population of about 500, falls under the
jurisdiction of Mesia, whose mayor, Jose Fraga, appealed to the Galician
government to halt the operation.
- The mine is 300 metres from one of the houses in Lanza
and half a mile from a primary school, Galician agriculture department
spokesman, Manuel Cruz, said.
- The Spanish government said carcasses must be turned
over to local agricultural authorities and incinerated. The problem is
that Galicia has about a million cattle and only one incinerator, Mr Cruz
said. "It simply can't cope," he said.
- France launched an ambitious programme yesterday to test
all 20,000 or so cows over 30 months old slaughtered each week for mad
cow disease, six months ahead of an EU deadline. In November, the EU
that all cows over 30 months old must be tested before entering the food
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