HL Deb 22 March 2001 vol 623 c177WA
Lord Swinfen

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether any research has been undertaken into the possibility of the foot and mouth virus being spread from unburnt carcasses and in the updraught caused by the fire in another part of a heap of carcasses of infected animals; and, if not, whether they will undertake such research. [HL1190]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman)

Current veterinary advice is that once rigor mortis sets in, most of the virus carried inside an infected animal diminishes very quickly. Carcasses are soaked in disinfectant and the conditions of cremation are such that the virus which remains in areas like the spine or bone marrow will be destroyed before it can be dispersed by the plumes from the pyre.