NANFA-- Fears Grow As Mass UK Cattle Slaughter Contaminates Water (fwd)

mcclurg luke e (
Thu, 12 Apr 2001 21:16:21 -0500 (CDT)

>Fears Grow As Mass UK Cattle
>Slaughter Contaminates Water
>Kamal Ahmed - Political Editor
>The Observer - London
> A government agency is investigating the first 'Category 1' water
>pollution incident connected to the foot-and-mouth crisis.
> Hundreds of fish have been killed in a fresh water course in
>Anglesey after disinfectant used during a cull of cattle leaked into a
> The incident is the first evidence of the serious environmental
>damage experts believe the mass cull of cattle and sheep may create if it
>is not handled more carefully.
> An Environment Agency spokesman said that restrictions on movement
>around the country were hampering its investigations into the incident in
>which hundreds of trout and eel died. He said that there had also been a
>number of more minor pollution breaches which had been caused by blood and
>animal waste leaking into rivers.
> The Government was facing more criticism last night over the plans
>to bury tens of thousands of sheep and cattle after it was revealed that a
>similar policy in America had led to an environmental disaster.
> Up to a million chickens, pigs and cattle were buried in pits in
>North Carolina after Hurricane Floyd wreaked havoc in 1999. The policy has
>led to contamination of thousands of wells which the state relies on for
>its water supply. Levels of illnesses in the local population have also
> 'If you do it wrong now you will be living with the consequences
>for the next 15 years,' said Elliott Moorhead, the chief executive of
>NanoVapor and one of America's leading experts in animal waste disposal.
> 'What you are basically building is a pit where diseases can
>breed. It is a potential disaster.'
> News of the pollution outbreak will damage the Prime Minister's
>attempts to re-invigorate Britain's tourism industry which has been hit
>hard by the foot-and-mouth crisis.
> A Downing Street official admitted that pictures of dead fish
>floating in rivers was not 'the kind of imagery that will sell well
> Tony Blair is getting increasingly frustrated at the lack of
>action on opening up the countryside. County councils across the country
>said yesterday that they would refuse to open up footpaths and access to
>the countryside despite orders from Downing Street.
> 'There is no evidence that any case of infection has been caused
>by walkers, by visitors, or by people not in contact with livestock,' the
>Environment Minister, Beverley Grant, said yesterday.
> 'This means that local authorities and others ought to be basing
>their assessment of how far they can open up the countryside on that
>scientific evidence.'
> The first evidence that the burial programme was facing serious
>environmental problems came last week when Maff admitted that it would have
>to dig up the carcasses of almost 900 sheep and cattle because they had
>been disposed of in the wrong site.
> The carcasses had been buried a few metres away from a fresh water
>spring at Tow Law, Co Durham, despite orders from the Environment Agency
>that the area should not be used.
> Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Nick Brown played down the role
>that a Chinese restaurant may have played in the foot-and-mouth outbreak.
>His department had previously highlighted illegal imports of meat from
>China as the most probably source of the disease, the reporting of which
>resulted in a 40 per cent fall in the takings of Chinese restaurants, many
>of which received racist phonecalls.
> However, in a meeting with delegates of the Chinese Civil Rights
>Action Group he said there was currently no evidence linking the outbreak
>with imported Chinese meat. In an official statement, he failed to rule out
>a Chinese restaurant as a possible source, but said: 'It would be totally
>unfair to make a scapegoat of the Chinese community or Chinese restaurants.
>The investigations into the source of the outbreak are still continuing,
>and ill-informed, groundless speculation does nothing to help the

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