HC Deb 03 April 1996 vol 275 c238W
Mr. Hinchliffe

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of abattoir waste volume which enters United Kingdom sewerage systems annually; and if he will make a statement on the adequacy of water treatment works when dealing with potential bovine spongiform encephalopathy contaminated material. [23221]

Mr. Clappison

[holding answer 1 April 1996]: Information for England and Wales provided by the sewerage undertakers shows that there are approximately 200 abattoirs with trade effluent consents. The annual volume of abattoir effluent entering the sewerage system is unavailable. Information relating to Scotland and Northern Ireland is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

The adequacy of standard forms of sewage treatment on potential BSE-contaminated material is unknown. All animals exhibiting clinical symptoms of BSE are killed and incinerated. The specified bovine offals, which include all the tissues known to harbour BSE infectivity, are removed from cattle at slaughter and destroyed. As a result, it is unlikely that any BSE-contaminated material could enter the sewerage system.