HL Deb 27 November 2002 vol 641 cc48-9WA
Lord Inglewood

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will state their future plans for the Watchtree site in Cumbria; and particularly whether it should be permanently closed for disposal of animal carcasses or other waste. [HL0075]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty)

DEFRA is currently in the process of restoring the Watchtree site to a range of natural habitats and intends to manage the site to enhance its nature conservation value. The department has indicated that it does not intend to use mass burial as a carcass disposal route in any future outbreak but is committed to managing the existing sites, including Watchtree, for as long as is necessary in relation to any risks to the environment or public health. The department is currently reviewing the plans for each mass burial site where carcasses are buried, including their possible use for contingency purposes and will announce its proposals in due course.