§ Mr. Morley
In June 1996 the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC) issued guidance on the handling, transportation and eventual disposal of waste material from cattle. This covered meat and bonemeal (MBM) and concluded that there was no374W epidemiological evidence to suggest that this material presented a risk to any of the trades exposed to it, subject to them taking similar precautions to the handling of any dusty material. No risk to public health was identified.
All MBM generated from cattle slaughtered under the over-30-month slaughter scheme (OTMS) is stored in waste management licensed sites. OTMS MBM is currently being incinerated (with energy recovery) at plants approved by the Environment Agency and it is anticipated that stocks will be significantly reduced within the next two years.
§ Mr. Lidington
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement about her Department's handling of claims for compensation, other than compensation for loss of livestock, arising out of foot and mouth disease. 
§ Mr. Morley
The Department established a unit in May 2001 to handle all miscellaneous claims against the Department arising from the outbreaks of foot and mouth disease (FMD). Over 2,000 claims requiring investigation have been referred to the unit which has so far responded with a decision in over 1,800 cases.
Most of the claims have come from farmers and businesses that were affected in some way by the outbreaks. Their grounds for making a claim against the Department varied considerably. They have included issues raised by farmers who were directly affected by the disease and whose livestock were compulsorily slaughtered, to issues raised by farmers, businesses and other members of the public who said they had been affected by, for example, nuisance caused by carcase disposal operations, loss of business/income as a result of movement restrictions and other losses they attributed to the measures taken to control and eradicate the disease.
Statutory compensation is paid only in respect of animals which have been slaughtered as a result of the disease; and property, which has been seized or destroyed in order to prevent the spread of the disease. There is no statutory provision for payment of compensation for other losses caused by the outbreaks, and there are no plans to introduce such payments. No Government could commit themselves to insure farmers and businesses against the cost of all the losses resulting, directly or indirectly, from the outbreaks of the disease or the action taken to deal with them.
We respond to every claim on the facts but are clear that Government cannot be the insurer of last resort nor pay for all losses consequent of FMD.
§ Mr. Morley
Of the 3,364 contiguous premises and 206 infected premises which previously had a status of contiguous premises, 215 and 167 respectively had samples taken for testing in a laboratory.